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Platinum Equity adds OfficeMax

Wednesday, 19 April 2017
By Print21

US equity giant Platinum Equity has signed a deal to acquire the OfficeMax business in Australia and New Zealand from Office Depot for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition gives the California-based global investment firm two of the three major chains in Australia’s $10 billion-a-year office supplies market, coming just weeks after Platinum bought Staples – the second largest business in the local office supplies market.

“We are pleased to provide Office Depot a divestiture solution that meets the company’s needs,” said Adam Cooper, principal at Platinum Equity. “We look forward to working with the OfficeMax management team to continue improving the company’s offering, enhancing the customer experience and driving sustainable growth.”

In the hours before the deal was announced, corporate regulator the ACCC said it would conduct a public inquiry if the widely-predicted sale was confirmed.

The ACCC is aware of media speculation about Platinum Equity’s possible acquisition of OfficeMax. If such a transaction proceeds, the ACCC expects that we would conduct a public review to assess the likely effects on competition. This would include consultation with customers and competitors.

Platinum, in a statement announcing the deal, seemed unconcerned about the inquiry.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in each country and is expected to close within the next several months. 

OfficeMax’s specialist print management division, OfficeMax Print Solutions, offers a range of services from pre-production and design, through to procurement, marketing and distribution. Staples also offers a range of print and marketing services.

Meanwhile, Wesfarmers, the owner of Officeworks, is considering an IPO for the third and largest of Australia’s three major office supply chains.

Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with more than $11 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 30 operating companies.

The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV, a $6.5 billion global buyout fund. Platinum specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 22 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 185 acquisitions.

The company owns a 70 per cent stake in Telstra’s White Pages and Yellow Pages business Sensis.



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