Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Staples Can't Stop Trying to Buy Office Depot

By Rich Duprey - Updated Mar 31, 2021 at 12:20PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The office supplies giant is mulling over making an offer for parts of the company.

Staples just can't quit Office Depot (ODP 1.93%). Time and time again, the office supplies giant has tried to buy its rival and failed, often because the government prevented it over antitrust concerns, but more recently because Office Depot itself said no.

Now USR Parent, which is Staples' retail office-supply business, says it is thinking about buying certain Office Depot assets, and Office Depot actually says it's not opposed to the idea.

Collated stack of paper

Image source: Getty Images.

Staples' attempts to buy Office Depot extend back to 1997 when the Justice Department first rejected a $4 billion combination of their retail operations for fear it would limit competition. They attempted a merger again in 2015, this time for $6.3 billion, but that also was shot down by regulators over antitrust concerns. 

Staples was eventually taken private by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, and this past January, the company -- renamed as USR Parent -- offered to buy Office Depot again for $2 billion. This time, however, Office Depot rejected the bid, saying it would invite antitrust scrutiny again. But it left open the possibility of selling parts of its business if Staples wanted to combine their retail and e-commerce operation.

It was that overture from Office Depot that Staples was responding to today when it announced it was mulling over making an offer for "ODP's retail and consumer facing business, its business operations in Canada and certain other assets."

Staples noted it hasn't given up on buying the whole company, but was also willing to buy bits and pieces of its rival. For that reason, its planned tender offer for Office Depot shares was being deferred, though it reserved the right to commence a new offer in the future.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The ODP Corporation Stock Quote
The ODP Corporation
ODP
$38.10 (1.93%) $0.72

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
322%
 
S&P 500 Returns
116%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/25/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.