There could be consolidation ahead in the office-products space, with Staples outlining a proposal to acquire the parent company of Office Depot in a deal that would value the target company at $2.1 billion.
Closely held Staples, under the corporate name USR Parent Inc., said it sent a letter to ODP Corp. laying out a plan to buy the company for $40 per share in cash.
A deal would bring together two of the biggest names in office supplies at a time when brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to cope with broad economic shutdowns in the pandemic. Staples had previously tried to buy Office Depot, but the $6.3 billion acquisition was called off in 2016 amid antitrust scrutiny.
Staples said it might consider upping its proposed valuation if Office Depot were to divest certain units, like its its CompuCom division or its U.S. business-to-business unit. Staples said it is prepared to divest the latter to a Federal Trade Commission-approved buyer to get past any anticipated regulatory objections.
Sycamore Partners-backed Staples has sufficient resources to finance the transaction, it said. If the company doesn’t cooperate, Staples said it will commence a tender offer in March. Certain Staples affiliates already own about 4.9% of ODP’s common stock, it said.