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Platinum Equity adds OfficeMax to Winc

Thursday, 08 February 2018
By Print 21 Online Article

US-based private equity giant Platinum Equity has completed its acquisition of the OfficeMax business in Australia from Office Depot for an undisclosed amount.

Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity also confirmed it intends to merge OfficeMax Australia with Winc Australia – the former Staples business it acquired in April 2017 and subsequently rebranded.

The OfficeMax deal, first announced in April 2017, was put on hold while corporate regulators considered whether it would lessen competition.

The deal was eventually given the green light in November 2017 by corporate regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after a six-month review. The ACCC concluded: the acquisition was likely to lessen competition in the supply of traditional office products to large commercial and government customers in Australia. However, it was not satisfied that the proposed acquisition was likely to substantially lessen competition.

‘Greater value, more choice’: Adam Cooper, principal at Platinum Equity.

Platinum now owns two of the three major chains in Australia’s $10 billion-a-year office supplies market.

“The combination of Winc and OfficeMax in Australia will create a business that can offer greater value, more choice and a better customer experience,” says Adam Cooper, principal at Platinum Equity. “We will bring together the best of both companies, creating an innovative enterprise under the Winc brand.”

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. Winc also offers a range of print and marketing services.

‘Excited about the opportunity’: Darren Fullerton, CEO Winc.

Winc CEO Darren Fullerton says teams from Winc, OfficeMax and Platinum Equity will work together to ensure a seamless transition.

“I am excited about the opportunity to leverage the strengths of both businesses and create something that is truly greater than the sum of our parts,” says Fullerton. “This represents another important step in the transformation and growth of our business.”

Platinum’s proposed acquisition of the OfficeMax business in New Zealand is still pending, subject to approval by the New Zealand High Court.

Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with $13 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of more than 30 operating companies that serve customers around the world.

Tom Gores, founder, Platinum Equity

The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV, a $6.5 billion global buyout fund.

Platinum Equity specializes in mergers and acquisitions, operating companies in a 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 200 acquisitions.

In 2014, Platinum paid Telstra $454 million for a 70 per cent stake in its telephone directory business Sensis, which operates the Yellow and White Pages, leaving Telstra with a 30 per cent stake in the directories.





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