Staples, Inc. (SPLS), the world’s leading retailer of office products and services, recently offered to buy out the remaining stake in Corporate Express Australia Limited.
Staples already holds a majority stake of 58.6% in Corporate Express Australia by virtue of its acquisition of Corporate Express (headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado), the parent of Corporate Express Australia, in July 2008.
It has now bid to buy the remaining 41.4% for a cash consideration of AUS$5.60 (approximately US$5.11) per share, a 25.1% premium to the closing share price on Tuesday. The offer has the consent of Corporate Express Australia’s board.
Corporate Express is a leading supplier of office products with operations in North America, Europe and Australia.
The shareholders of Corporate Express Australia will also receive the dividend of 12.5 Australian cents (approximately US11.4 cents) a share, announced earlier this month, which will be paid on April 14, 2010. The dividend along with the offer price brings the total value to AUS$5.73 (approximately $5.23) per share.
A special dividend of 78 Australian cents (approximately US71 cents) a share to be paid by Corporate Express Australia is also on the cards, and is subject to the approval of the Australian Tax Office. If the special dividend gets the go-ahead, the offer price would be lowered by the same amount.
The deal values Corporate Express Australia at approximately AUS$1.0 billion (approximately US$913.3 million) on an equity basis and AUS$1.1 billion (approximately US$1,004.6 million) on an enterprise value basis.
The acquisition of Corporate Express has not only enhanced Staples’ global reach, but also added large Contract businesses to its portfolio, helped achieve significant purchasing synergies and reduced overhead expenses considerably.
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