Jan 11, 2021 - Economy & Business

Staples tries to buy Office Depot for the third time

Illustration of the Staples logo with a hundred dollar bill peeking out from the top of the staple as if it's a pocket.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Staples on Monday offered to buy rival office supplies retailer Office Depot for $2.1 billion.

Why it matters: This is Staples' third attempt to buy Office Depot: Its 1996 and 2015 efforts were blocked by federal antitrust regulators.

Details: Today's offer is for $40 per share. That's basically where Office Depot was trading last week, but with a 61% premium to its average closing price over the past three months.

  • Staples has been owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners since 2017, and says it "has sufficient resources to finance the transaction."

The key piece of Staples' offer letter to Office Depot is that it would seek to sell Office Depot's commercial business concurrent to the takeover because that would satisfy FTC concerns from its 2015 attempt. At the time, Staples tried arguing that increased office supplies business from online retailers like Amazon and Walmart meant that its tie-up with Office Depot wouldn't be anti-competitive.

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