Staples Plots Changes After Office Depot Merger Falls Through

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Staples Inc. announced plans for change after the office-supply company's $6.3 billion merger deal with Office Depot Inc. was called off Tuesday. The company, which will pay a $250 million breakup fee in the wake of the failed merger fight, said in a news release that it is initiating a $300 million cost-reduction plan, cancelling a deal to sell $550 million in corporate contracts to Essendant Inc. , and exploring strategic alternatives for its European operations. Staples also said it will now "pursue acquisitions of business-to-business service providers and companies specializing in categories beyond office supplies to build scale and credibility and accelerate growth in these areas." Staples said that it expects to close 50 stores in North America and repurchase roughly $100 million in stock this year. Staples stock fell more than 10% in late trading Tuesday before being halted.

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