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Staples yet to see Corporate Express books


AMSTERDAM Despite reports that Corporate Express will soon open its books to Staples, the office supplies retailer was unaware of such an offer and has yet to see them, according to Reuters.

ADutch paper reported that Corporate Express, which Staples is seeking to buy, will give Staples access to its books. According to Reuters, Staples ceo Ron Sargent did not know they were available to the company and had yet to see them.

Early Tuesday, Staples announced an increased bid for Corporate Express and confirmed that shareholders owning approximately 23.3% of Corporate Express shares have already committed their shares to Staples and agreed to vote against Corporate Express’ planned merger with Lyreco. Corporate Express, based in Amsterdam, reached a merger agreement with French office products reseller Lyreco on May 21 after Staples formally launched its buyout offer on May 19. At a price of E9.15, Staples offer represents a premium of 116 to what the company’s calls Corporate Express’ unaffected share price of E4.32 of Feb. 4. Rumors of the possible combination sent shares of Corporate Express higher by the time Staples announced its bid of E7.15 on Feb. 19. That offer amount was subsequently increased to E8, with the latest increase to E9.15 representing an effort by Staples to provide Corporate Express shareholders an offer they can’t refuse.  Corporate Express has scheduled a special meeting of shareholders for June 18 to vote on the Lyreco acquisition and Staples is urging them to reject that deal in favor of its offer.

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