Nearly a year after the Staples-Office Depot lovefest ended in a broken engagement following federal regulators’ anti-trust lawsuit, Staples is ready to move on, apparently with a private equity firm.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that Staples is exploring a sale, talking with several private equity firms.
While the sources caution that the discussions are in the early stages and a deal might not actually transpire, they value the office supply chain at roughly $7 billion.
Seeking out a deal with a private equity firm could be Staples’ way of looking to turn around slumping business.
The chain has reported five straight years of dipping sales, and just last month Staples said it would close about 5% — or 70 — stores in North America.
Any potential deal with a private equity firm wouldn’t be the first for Staples, either the WSJ reports. Back in December the company sold a major stake of its European operations to Cerberus Capital Management.