Office Depot has followed through on its plan to offload its European operations with the announcement of a purchase agreement with private equity firm The Aurelius Group.
Office Depot, which owns the OfficeMax business in Australia and globally, had previously disclosed its intention to explore strategic alternatives regarding its European business, under a process that began earlier this year.
“The sale of our European business will allow us to streamline operations and focus our resources on markets that will provide the best opportunity to implement our recently announced three-year strategic plan,” Roland Smith, out-going chairman and CEO for Office Depot, says
Since 2005 Aurelius has completed more than 70 transactions across Europe and specialises in investing in companies and corporate spin-offs, as well as complex divisional carve-outs from corporates.
The transaction is structured as an equity sale, for nominal consideration, with the buyer acquiring the European business with its assets and liabilities.
Annual revenue for the European business is approximately $2,3-billion.
The transaction, which has been approved by Office Depot’s board, is subject to regulatory approval from the European Commission and consultation with the central works council, which represents employees in France. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016.