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Office Supplies Chain Staples Sold for $6.9 Billion

The deal with New York-based Sycamore Partners will allow Staples to adjust to the challenges as a private company

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    Office Supplies Chain Staples Sold for $6.9 Billion
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    This file photo shows a Staples store on Sept. 29, 2005, in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

    Private equity firm Sycamore Partners is buying office supplies chain Staples for $6.9 billion.

    The companies said Wednesday that shareholders of Framingham, Massachusetts-based Staples will get $10.25 per share.

    Staples' stock closed Wednesday up 77 cents, or 8.4 percent, to $9.93, fueled by a late-afternoon report of a deal. The stock rose another 1.5 percent in extended trading after the deal was announced.

    Changing shopping patterns, like the shift to online buying, have hurt office-supplies megastores like Staples. Amazon has become a prime competitor to Staples for corporate customers.

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    The deal with New York-based Sycamore Partners will allow Staples to adjust to the challenges as a private company.

    Staples' sales have declined 6.1 percent over the past five years to $18.2 billion.

    Staples Inc. is the largest "big box" office-supply chain, but it cut the number of stores it runs to roughly 1,600 from nearly 2,300 in 2012, according to FactSet.

    Last year, Staples shredded a proposed $6.3 billion merger with rival Office Depot after encountering stern resistance from antitrust regulators that culminated in a federal judge blocking the deal.

    Staples confirmed in April that it was exploring a possible sale. Sycamore Partners' Managing Director Stefan Kaluzny said the deal will help Staples pursue its long-term strategy.

    "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," Kaluzny said.

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    The companies said they expect this deal to close by the end of the year.