Office Depot Sells European Business

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Sun Sentinel/TNS) —

Office Depot has completed its sale of its European office supply business to The Aurelius Group. Office Depot has said it is divesting international holdings to focus on its North American business.

Office Depot’s European business has about 6,000 employees, operates in 14 countries and has annual revenues of about $2.8 billion, according to a press release by Aurelius, an asset manager with offices in Munich, London, Stockholm, and Madrid.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Office Depot, which failed in its $6.3 billion merger attempt with Staples in 2016, also has been working to streamline its U.S. operations of both Office Depot and OfficeMax stores. The company, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, acquired OfficeMax in 2013. The merger with Massachusetts-based rival Staples was called off in May following a federal regulatory challenge over anti-competitive concerns.

In November, the company said it would close 300 stores over three years to cut costs.

Office Depot had $14.5 billion in 2015 sales compared with $3 billion a year earlier. For its third quarter ended Sept. 24, the company posted $2.8 million in sales compared with $3 million in the same quarter in 2015.

Roland Smith, 61, announced in August that he plans to retire as CEO after a successor is found. The transition is expected during the first quarter of 2017. Smith said he would stay on as chairman.

Office Depot’s stock price has a 52-week range of $3.01 to $7.91 in trading on the Nasdaq.

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