New Year, New Developments for Office Depot and Staples UK

The sale of the Office Depot’s European business operations to the Aurelius Group is complete.

Much of 2016 office supplies industry news was dominated by the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot. Once the Staples Merger was Blocked by a Federal Judge in May 2016, speculation has been rife regarding the future of both companies in Europe and the UK.

Aurelius Group Acquires Office Depot

Aurelius has now acquired all of Office Depot’s European business. Office Depot operates in 14 countries, employing approximately 6,500 people. Its annual sales are €2 billion and also include the Viking office supplies brand. Through Viking, it is a leading vendor in the sales of:

  • Office supplies
  • Printing and document services
  • Paper
  • Computers and printers
  • Business services including facility management
  • Office furniture

In terms of its B2B operations, Office Depot has over 100,000 customers.

This sale is an equity sale with Aurelius obtaining all the assets and liabilities for a “nominal consideration”. However, the UK pension liability is not included.

Staples UK Takeover to be Completed by End of January

Meanwhile, the Hilco Capital takeover of Staples UK will be complete by the end of January. The takeover will see a full rebrand for the Staples stores and services.

Existing Staples Rewards customers have been informed by email that from 29th January 2017 the retailer will be rebranded as it comes under the new ownership of Hilco Capital. The Staples Rewards programme recently stopped any new members joining the scheme as from 18th November 2016.

Both Office Depot and Staples have made clear in recent months following the failed merger that they intend to concentrate on building their North American businesses.

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Sam Rose