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Private equity deal takes Staples ownership private

Private equity investor Sycamore Partners is to pay about US$6.9 billion to take US stationery retail giant Staples ownership private.

Analysts say the move will allow the ongoing restructure of the country’s largest office products retailer to take place without the constant scrutiny of Wall Street.

Sycamore is no stranger to the retail sector, already acquiring chains including Nine West, Talbots, Hot Topic and Coldwater Creek.

After failing to get Federal Trade Commission approval to take over rival chain Office Depot in May last year, due to antitrust concerns, Staples has refocused its business on small and medium enterprises and shuttered more than 300 stores, leaving it with 1255 in the US and 304 in Canada. Some 70 of those are slated for closure.

Stefan Kaluzny, MD of Sycamore Partners, described Staples as an “iconic brand” with a winning strategy and dedicated, passionate staff deeply focused on the customer.      

“Staples is truly an outstanding enterprise. We have tremendous confidence in CEO Shira Goodman and great respect for the Staples management team and are excited about this opportunity to partner with them to accelerate long-term profitability.”

Shira Goodman, CEO and president of Staples, said the Sycamore Partners team shares Staples’ entrepreneurial spirit and long-term vision.

“This transaction will enable us to drive greater value for our customers and immense opportunity for our business.”

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