Office Depot agrees to sell its European business

September 23, 2016 04:47 PM

(Bloomberg) -- Office Depot Inc. agreed to sell its European business to the Aurelius Group, helping sharpen its focus on the North American market after its failed merger with Staples Inc.

The deal will be structured as an equity sale for “nominal consideration,” Boca Raton, Florida-based Office Depot, No. 9 in the 2016 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, said Friday in a statement. The European unit has annual revenue of about 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion).

Office Depot is in the early stages of a strategic plan -- developed after the Staples tie-up was blocked by regulators -- to increase profitability and provide value to shareholders. The plan includes reinventing its North American retail model, reducing costs, accelerating growth among business customers and making its capital structure more efficient.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Roland Smith said in the statement.

Office Depot rose 1.9% to $3.70 at 12:19 p.m. in New York trading. The shares had slid 36% this year through Thursday.




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