Staples $500M acquisition stalled by shutdown

BY Grant Welker

Photo | Grant Welker
Photo | Grant Welker
The Framingham headquarters of office supply retailer Staples.

Staples' planned purchase of an Illinois wholesale supplier of office furniture and other goods is being stalled by the federal government shutdown.
The Framingham office retailer's target, Essendant, said last week a final approval by the Federal Trade Commission has been delayed by the government shutdown, which began Dec. 22.
Ric Phillips, Essendant's president and CEO, said he remains confident that the deal will receive approval and close in the first quarter of the year.
"For the time being, it is business as usual here," Phillips said, in a press release.
The transaction includes the purchase of Essendant's 37.7 million outstanding shares for $12.80 each and other fees totaling $497.9 million, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Essendant said in September it agreed to terms with Staples after several months of a bidding war between Staples and Atlanta-based Genuine Parts Co. Essendant said its board determined Staples' offer was better for the company than the merger agreement with Genuine Parts and its S.P. Richards business.