Why the Staples/Office Depot merger will never happen

This week, the speculation about a merger between Office Depot and Staples, two office supply retailers, can all but officially be laid to rest. With hopes for a deal now dead and buried, what does the future hold for Office Depot’s stressed-out and toxic stock?

The intention for the merger was initially announced more than a year ago, on 4 February 2015. Behind the idea was activist-investing hedge fund Starboard Value. Starboard first pushed for a merger between Office Depot and its former competitor Office Max. Once Office Max had been bought out, Starboard then began to push for Stapes to purchase Office Depot.

The deal would have been worth $6-billion. But from the start, Starboard’s efforts have been stymied by regulatory agencies.

Back in December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenged the merger with violating antitrust laws in an administrative complaint. The case is slated to come before a judge in May of this year, but in the meantime the FTC has sought an injunction to block the merger.

By Kat McKerrow for www.thestreet.com

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