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11/08/2021

Staples still wants to acquire Office Depot

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Staples reaffirmed its proposal to acquire the consumer business (Office Depot, OfficeMax) of ODP Corp.

The parent company of Staples remains determined to acquire its chief rival.

USR Parent reaffirmed its proposal to acquire the consumer business of the ODP Corp., parent of Office Depot and OfficeMax, for $1.0 billion in cash. The proposal was delivered to the company on June 4, 2021, and remains unchanged. It includes approximately 1,100 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores, officedepot.com, and the Office Depot and OfficeMax intellectual property, including all brand names.

In May, ODP said its board has approved a plan to split the company into two publicly traded companies. Under the plan ODP will retain its retail consumer and small-business products and services division. The separation is expected to be complete by the first half of 2022. 

[Read More: Parent of Office Depot names CEOs for spin-off companies]

In January, ODP turned down an offer by Staples to buy the company for $2.1 billion in cash, saying it was unlikely to overcome regulatory challenges. But in a letter detailing its response and rejection of the offer, ODP also said it was open to a reworking of the deal, including combining their retail operations.

The January offer was Staples’ third attempt to buy its rival. In 2016, Staples and Office Depot called off their merger after a federal judge issued an injunction temporarily blocking the $6.3 billion deal over antitrust concerns. Staples previously tried to acquire Office Depot in 1996. But the deal was called off after regulators raised antitrust concerns.

In its latest release, Staples said that, in November 2020, it filed the necessary governmental approvals with the Federal Trade Commission to acquire the company, and has made “substantial progress” responding to the government's data requests and inquiries in connection with the proposed acquisition.

“With the company's full cooperation, Staples is confident that the parties will be able to expeditiously obtain the necessary antitrust approvals for the proposed acquisition of the company's consumer business,” Staples stated.

While Staples has decided to abandon its previously announced intent to commence a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of the company, Staples continues to evaluate all options in connection with its investment in the company, including, but not limited to, the sale of all or a portion of the shares of company common stock beneficially owned by affiliates of Staples, and reserves all rights in connection therewith.