Activist investor pushes for Staples to improve board composition after Office Depot deal

Associated Press

Activist investor Starboard is recommending that Staples improve the makeup of its board to help ensure its approximately $6 billion acquisition of Office Depot pays off.

Starboard Value LP, which holds a 4.5 percent ownership stake in the office supplies retailer, sent a letter to the Staples Inc. board on Wednesday. While Starboard didn't provide any details as to what board changes it would like, the hedge fund said that it believed "it would be beneficial to improve the composition of the board to ensure successful deal completion and efficient integration of the two companies."

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Staples, the nation's largest "big box" office supply chain, announced last month that it's spending about $6 billion to buy its second-ranked rival, Office Depot Inc. In January Starboard publicly urged Staples to make a move on Office Depot.

Starboard also said Wednesday that based on its assumptions, Staples could be worth between $32 and $37 per share once the Office Depot deal closes and the combined company starts realizing savings. Shares of the Framingham, Massachusetts-based company shed 15 cents to $16.66 in midday trading.

Staples did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.