Staples Sells Itself For $6.9B To Private Equity Firm

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Two months after Staples said it was ready to move on with a new lover following the messy breakup of its engagement to Office Depot, the office supply store is once again heading to the altar, selling itself to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $6.9 billion. 

Staples, the world’s largest seller of office products and services, revealed Wednesday evening that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Sycamore Partners, the company that recently bought the right to zombify The Limited.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, all Staples’ stockholders will receive $10.25 per share in cash for each share of common stock they own, which represents a premium of approximately 20% compared to the last day of trading before speculation of a sale began in early April.

Staples chairman of the board Robert Sulentic said in a statement that the sale was the result of a “comprehensive process” that “explored and considered various alternatives to enhance value for our stockholders.”

Staples’ board of directors has already approved the deal and recommends that the company’s stockholders also vote in favor of the sale.

The deal, which is expected to close in Dec. 2017, will face the same regulatory scrutiny as similar deals.

Agreeing to a deal with a private equity firm could be Staples’ way of looking to turn around slumping business. The chain has reported five straight years of dipping sales, and just last month Staples said it would close about 5% — or 70 — stores in North America.

Still, Sycamore Partners is no stranger to buying struggling retailers. In addition to purchasing the remains of The Limited earlier this year, the private equity firm also owns mall brands, including Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic, Nine West, Talbots, and Torrid.

Back in 2015, the company bought 330 Family Dollar store after the big dollar-store wars of 2015 that saw Dollar Tree buying Dollar Family, resulting in the need to divest hundreds of stores.

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