EUROPE: Office Depot To Sell Operations Across Continent

Office Depot has announced plans to exit Europe, saying it will sell its business across the continent to the Aurelius Group.  Earlier this year, the US group had said it was exploring strategic alternatives regarding its European business, which generates annual revenues of around €2bn.

Office Depot said the deal is being structured as “an equity sale, for nominal consideration, with the buyer acquiring the European business with its assets and liabilities.”  The sale is subject to regulatory approval from the European Commission and consultation with the central works council, which represents employees in France. Office Depot will have to pay €5m to Aurelius if it decides not to sell after consultations within the prescribed time, or if it fails to participate in the consultation process.

The group noted: “The sale of our European business will allow us to streamline operations and focus our resources on markets that will provide the best opportunity to implement our recently announced three year strategic plan”.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016.