Is a Buyout of Staples in the Works?
It hasn’t been the best of times for Staples. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based retailer has reported revenue declines over the last five years—from approximately $24.67 billion at the end of its fiscal year 2011 to roughly $18.25 billion in 2016.
And let’s not forget the failed mega-merger attempt with Office Depot, which ultimately led to a split with then CEO Ron Sargent. Now the retailer may be trying to sell itself, suggesting that investors may have lost faith in the company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Staples is in early-stage talks with a limited number of private-equity firms. However, anonymous sources told the paper that a sale is not guaranteed.
After the news broke last Tuesday, Staples stock rose to nearly 10 percent, closing at $9.51.
Like many of its peers, Staples continues to struggle against online behemoths, including Amazon. Just last month, the company announced an additional 70 store closings in North America. Ever since U.S. regulators blocked its plan to merge with Office Depot, citing antitrust concerns, Staples, under the guidance of new CEO Shira Goodman, has tried to shift focus away from Fortune 500 corporations and toward small business contracts. As Fortune explained, this meant renting out office space to small businesses and individuals.
Staples is the parent company of Staples Promotional Products.
We will cover this story as it develops.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.