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Staples acquired in blockbuster deal


The nation's largest office supply retailer is returning to private ownership.

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners has acquired Staples for $10.25 per share for cash. The deal is valued at about $6.9 billion.

"The Sycamore Partners’ team shares Staples’ entrepreneurial spirit and long-term vision,” said Shira Goodman, CEO and president, Staples. “This transaction will enable us to drive greater value for our customers and immense opportunity for our business.”

In May 2016, Staples abandoned its quest to acquire rival Office Depot for some $6.3 billion amid antitrust concerns by the Federal Trade Commission. Staples operates 1,255 stores in the United States, and 304 in Canada.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close no later than December, 2017. The closing is not subject to a financing condition.

Staples has been working to improve its business by shifting from its traditional emphasis on serving consumers to one that also targets small- and mid-sized companies. It has closed over 300 stores since 2011, and recently annnnounced plans to close some 70 locations by yearend. Going private will enable Staples to execute its strategy without having to endure the glare of Wall Street.

"With an iconic brand, a winning strategy, and dedicated and passionate associates who are deeply focused on the customer, Staples is truly an outstanding enterprise,” said Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore Partners. “We have tremendous confidence in CEO Shira Goodman and great respect for the Staples management team and are excited about this opportunity to partner with them to accelerate long-term profitability.”

Sycamore's investment portfolio currently includes Belk, Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic, Nine West Holdings, and Talbots.

This is a developing story. Check back later for more details.
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