The Staples owner made an unwelcome offer to handle Office Depot in a deal worth more than $ 2 billion, looking to unite rival office-supply superstores whose previous marriage efforts have been thwarted by competition concerns.
This marks the third time Staples has tried to acquire its main bricks and mortar rival. Previous efforts, including a $ 6.3 billion deal five years ago, were blocked by antitrust enforcers. The latest proposal was made public on Monday by Staples.
ODP Corp, the parent company of Office Depot, said its board of directors is reviewing the proposal and will consider potential antitrust and regulatory challenges.
The retail landscape has changed because with the companies’ final attempt to merge, Amazon.com Inc. is expanding deeply into office supplies and the Kovid-19 epidemic is leaving many working or learning from home. Both Office Depot and Staples have large e-commerce operations, but Office Depot’s revenue has suffered as many corporate offices have closed. The closely held Staples does not disclose its financial results.
After the last unsuccessful deal, Staples was taken private by Seacmore Partners, a hedge fund that has scooped the retail chain, in a leveraged buyout in 2017. The company, now controlled by USR Parent Inc., a Psychoram subsidiary, is proposing to buy ODP for $ 40 per share in cash on Monday.