FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & LOS ANGELES (March 13, 2017)— Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) and Platinum Equity today announced a definitive agreement under which Platinum Equity will acquire Staples’ business in Australia and New Zealand for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2017.
Staples is a leading supplier of business products, services and solutions in Australia and New Zealand. The company serves a diverse variety of customers, ranging from small-and-medium businesses to large enterprises, including federal, state and territory levels of government in both countries.
“As we execute our plan for long-term growth we want to focus primarily on our Staples’ North American business, and this will allow us to better do that,” said Shira Goodman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Staples, Inc. “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.”
Platinum Equity is a leading global private equity firm with a highly specialized focus on business operations and more than 20 years’ experience acquiring and operating businesses that have been part of large corporate entities. Earlier today the firm announced the closing of Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV, a $6.5 billion global buyout fund focused on acquiring businesses that can benefit from Platinum’s operational and financial resources.
Platinum Equity, which has portfolio company operations on all seven continents, has been actively pursuing investment opportunities in Australia and New Zealand and currently owns a majority stake in Sensis, an Australian directories business acquired from Telstra.
“The Staples business in Australia and New Zealand has extraordinary potential as a standalone enterprise,” said Adam Cooper, principal at Platinum Equity. “It has a strong customer base, dedicated employees and a long history in the markets it serves. We look forward to partnering with the management team to make substantial investments to optimize the company’s digital and systems capabilities with a focus on enhancing the customer experience.”
Following the transition to new ownership, the divested business will continue to operate under the Staples brand in Australia and New Zealand for a short period of time while a new corporate brand is created.
Morgan Stanley is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Staples. Corrs Chambers Westgarth is acting as legal advisor to Staples. Baker McKenzie is acting as legal advisor to Platinum Equity.
About Staples, Inc.
Staples helps business customers make more happen by providing a broad assortment of products, expanded business services and easy ways to shop – in stores, online via mobile or through social apps. Staples Business Advantage, the business-to-business division, caters to mid-market, commercial and enterprise-sized customers by offering a one-source solution for the products and services they need, combined with best-in-class customer service, competitive pricing and a state-of-the-art ecommerce site. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples, Inc. operates throughout North and South America, and Asia. More information about Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.
About Platinum Equity
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity (www.platinumequity.com) is a global investment firm with more than $11 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 30 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV, a $6.5 billion global buyout fund. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad 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 20 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 185 acquisitions.