Equity giant swoops on Staples, OfficeMax
US private equity firm Platinum Equity has agreed to buy the Australian division of office products business Staples and is now sizing up OfficeMax, which would give the California-based investment company two of the three major office supply chains in Australia.
Platinum Equity, which owns a 70 per cent stake in Telstra’s White Pages and Yellow Pages business Sensis, is expected to rebrand Staples once the deal – for an undisclosed sum – has been completed.
Staples, which had about $35 million in annual earnings, employs 1700 people in Australia and New Zealand. Staples’ executive leadership team will report to Platinum Equity.
“We look forward to partnering with the [Staples] management team to make substantial investments to optimise the company’s digital and systems capabilities with a focus on enhancing the customer experience,” says Adam Cooper, principal at Platinum Equity.
Shira Goodman, CEO and president, Staples, Inc. says: “Working with Platinum, we believe the Australian and New Zealand businesses will be well-positioned for the future, ultimately helping our customers and associates succeed.”
The Australian Financial Review reports that Platinum could make a bid as early as today for OfficeMax, just one day after signing the agreement to buy Staples’ local business.
Platinum Equity, a global investment firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions, has more than US$11 billion of assets under management.
Meanwhile, Wesfarmers, the owner of Officeworks, is still considering an IPO for the third of Australia’s three major office supply chains.