Aurelius Rho Invest is to acquire the European business activities of the US-based Office Depot.
Once the consultation processes with various employee representative bodies at the Office Depot Group in France have been concluded, the seller will be able to conclude an already negotiated purchase agreement.
The two parties have agreed on exclusivity during this period. The transaction, which is subject to the approval of the relevant anti-trust authorities and further closing conditions, is scheduled for completion in the next few months.
Office Depot Europe, which operates in 14 countries across Europe and has approximately 6,500 employees, has revenues of around EUR2 billion. It would represent Aurelius’ largest acquisition to date in terms of revenues. The company has built up an established customer base and its operations encompass three core divisions.
The ‘Viking’ brand, a multi-channel provider of office supplies, printing and document services, paper, computers and printers, office furniture and business services including facility management to over 1.2 million small and mid-sized firms in 10 European countries. The brand’s main markets are Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK.
The contract division, which boasts an attractive and loyal customer base together with a stable distribution network, services over 100,000 large corporate clients and businesses in its main markets: the UK, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The retail division sells Office Depot-branded products to over 600,000 customers in over 100 stores as well as online.
Following the completion of the deal, Aurelius will work alongside the company’s management team in Europe and local partners to continue to implement measures that have already been initiated to revitalise Office Depot Europe. Aurelius’ will strengthen ongoing growth initiatives through the development of new product and service offerings and a strong pan-European distribution and logistics network. The company’s e-commerce platform will be expanded further.
Tristan Nagler, managing director of Aurelius in the UK, says: “This complex carve-out acquisition is a great example of how Aurelius can provide major corporates with a solution for their non-core European businesses. We remain committed to investing in pan-European businesses that would benefit from Aurelius’ hands-on strategic and operational support, and particularly those like Office Depot Europe with major operations in the UK market.”