Staples makes US$2.1 billion bid for rival Office Depot

An Office Depot store in Encinitas, California. Reuters/Mike Blake.

Office supplies retailer Staples has made an offer to buy Office Depot owner ODP Corp for US$2.1 billion in cash, nearly five years after its second takeover effort was rejected.

The US Federal Trade Commission blocked Staple’s $6.3 billion offer in 2016, saying a merger between the two could reduce competition for nationwide contracts for office supplies.

At the time, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave its tick of the approval of Staples’ proposed acquisition of Office Depot, which trades locally as OfficeMax.

The two companies agreed to merge in 1996, but the deal was put to rest as a government lawsuit argued the move would have meant higher prices for pens, paper and other office supplies.

Staples was a public company when it attempted the acquisition. It went private in 2017.

Staples said it is prepared to take “all necessary measures” to divest ODP’s B2B Business to a FTC-approved and qualified buyer.

USR Parent, or Staples, said it would offer $40 per for each ODP share, a premium of 8.2 per cent to Friday’s close.

ODP’s shares rose about 11 per cent to $41 before the opening bell.

  • Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr, of Reuters.

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