Staples Inc. has bought a 12.3% stake in Corporate Express. The move is the latest in Staples' bid to take over the global office supplies distributor.
Corporate Express announced June 5 it would meet with Staples to discuss the company's increased offer of €9.15 per share for the distributor (roughly US$2.5 billion total). The bid follows previous offers, which were rejected by Corporate Express earlier this year.
Staples' offer is contingent on Corporate Express shareholders' rejection of a planned merger between Corporate Express and European office supplies distributor Lyreco SAS. The transaction was announced on May 21. According to a recent news release, the merger with Lyreco would create a €7.8 billion B2B player in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.
Staples reported that shareholders holding 23.3% of Corporate Express have agreed to support Staples and have agreed to vote against the proposed Lyreco merger at the Corporate Express meeting this month
Staples had $19.4 billion in sales in 2007. It operates in 22 countries, with more than 2,000 office superstores, mail-order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses.