Daily News: June 29, 2017

Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, Others Support Sycamore Staples Buy


Staples agreed to be acquired by Sycamore Partners for $10.25 per share in cash, or approximately $6.9 billion. UBS Investment Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Canada, Jefferies, Wells Fargo Bank and Fifth Third Bank are providing debt financing for the transaction.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, all Staples’ stockholders will receive $10.25 per share in cash for each share of common stock they own, which represents a premium of approximately 20 percent to the 10-day volume weighted average stock price for Staples shares for the period ended April 3, 2017, the last trading day prior to widespread media speculation about a potential transaction.

Staples’ board of directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement and recommends that all Staples stockholders vote in favor of the transaction.

Robert Sulentic, chairman of the board, said, “Today’s announcement is the result of a comprehensive process in which our board, with the assistance of a transaction committee comprised of independent directors, and outside financial advisors, explored and considered various alternatives to enhance value for our stockholders. Staples’ board believes that this process has led to a transaction which is in the best interests of our stockholders, as well as Staples and its employees.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory and stockholder approval, and is expected to close no later than December, 2017. The closing is not subject to a financing condition.

“With an iconic brand, a winning strategy, and dedicated and passionate associates who are deeply focused on the customer, Staples is truly an outstanding enterprise,” said Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore Partners. “We have tremendous confidence in CEO Shira Goodman and great respect for the Staples management team and are excited about this opportunity to partner with them to accelerate long-term profitability.”

BofA Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities are acting as financial advisors, and Kirkland & Ellis is acting as legal advisor to Sycamore Partners.