Office Depot rebuffs third takeover attempt by rival firm Staples

  • ODP Corp. chairman turns down unsolicited $2.1 billion takeover bid from Staples
  • The company has expressed its interest in an alternative deal, however, such as a joint venture or retail operations merger
  • This marks the third attempt made by Staples to acquire Office Depot

U.S.-based office supply retailer Office Depot has recently rejected another takeover offer from its industry rival Staples. In a letter exchanged between the company’s executives, the chairman of the board of the ODP Corporation, the parent company of Office Depot, allegedly rejected Staples’ $2.1 billion offer to acquire the business.

However, the company expressed its interest in forging an alternative deal that would draw less regulatory scrutiny, including a joint venture, or a partial sale of its e-commerce and retail businesses to Staples.

Joseph Vassalluzzo, ODP Chairman, reportedly stated in the letter that a full takeover deal, as proposed by Staples, would bring far too much regulatory risk. He went on to say that an alternative deal, such as a JV or a partial sale, may be more efficiently executed and will present greater certainty and draw less attention from regulatory authorities. Vassalluzzo further added that this would help maintain optimum competitiveness against non-conventional retailers, and present more lucrative ongoing choices for customers.

The letter was delivered to the MD of Staples’ owner Sycamore Partners and USR Parent board member, Stefan Kaluzny. Staples has made at least two other attempts to acquire ODP in the past.

The last merger attempt, which was made five years ago, was blocked by antitrust officials on grounds of a potentially massive reduction in competition in the office supplies market. In the recent takeover bid, Staples proposed to buy the company for over $40 per share, claim sources with knowledge of the matter.

For the record, apart from Office Depot, ODP Corp. also owns another office supply retail chain OfficeMax, as well as IT company CompuCom.

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