Staples, Corporate Express reach $4.8 billion buyout agreement

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Staples Inc. and Corporate Express NV have agreed to a $4.8 billion (€3.1 billion) buyout of Corporate Express by Staples.

The combination of Staples and Corporate Express is expected to establish a contract business for Staples in Europe and Canada. It also has the potential to fuel Staples' North American delivery business in the US, which is currently Staples' fastest growing and most profitable business unit. The combination will also extend Staples' geographic reach to Australia and New Zealand.

“About half of Corporate Express' sales are from North America,” said Owen Davis, manager of PR at Staples, adding that the businesses are “extremely complementary.” As a result of the deal, customers will benefit “from a wider geographic reach, from expanded products and services and enhanced distribution capabilities,” he said.

The companies' collective businesses, as of the end of each company's 2007 fiscal year, had annual revenues of $27 billion, with more than 94,000 associates serving customers in 28 countries.

As a result of the agreement, Corporate Express has terminated its merger agreement with Lyreco.

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