Activist Investor Urges Staples to Merge With Office Depot

Activist Investor Urges Staples to Merge With Office Depot
Image credit: Jeremy Banks | Flickr

Activist investor Starboard Value has written a letter to Staples urging it to merge with rival Office Depot, confirming its intentions after revealing a stake in the former company in December, according to people familiar with the matter.

In December, Starboard revealed it had taken a 6.1 percent stake in Staples and increased an existing stake in Office Depot to 9.9 percent. At the time, CNBC reported that Starboard was pursuing a merger but the investor hadn't made its intentions public until now. Starboard met with Staples shortly after making its stake and had cordial discussions about a merger with Office Depot, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Last week, Staples announced a series of governance changes such as its intention to separate the CEO and Chairman roles but didn't address the possibility of a merger or indicate it was giving the idea any consideration.

Starboard's letter is expected to be made public later Tuesday.

Starboard declined to comment and Staples couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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