September 12, 2018

Illinois company's board favors Staples takeover proposal

Photo/Grant Welker
The Staples headquarters in Framingham. The office retailer is making a bid for an Illinois wholesale supplier, Essendant, whose board has said Staples bid is superior to a competing bid from an Atlanta company.

The board of directors at an Illinois wholesale supplier of office furniture and other goods has said an acquisition bid from Staples is a better proposal than one from a different company.

The Framingham office retailer made an unsolicited bid for Essendant in April, but faced competition from another bidder, Genuine Parts Co. of Atlanta.

Essendant said Monday its board has determined the Staples proposal was a better one for the company than the merger agreement with Genuine Parts, which was first announced in April just days before Staples' offer.

Staples' bid initially proposed paying $11.50 per share for Essendant but Staples raised its offer to $12.80 per share in cash. Essendant did not disclose the full price of the deal, which still requires shareholder approval.

Shares in Essendant fell on the Staples news Monday. The company's stock was trading over $14 last week but was under $13 following the Staples announcement.

Genuine Parts is the owner of S.P. Richards Co., an office product distributor, as well as the automotive chain Napa Auto Parts. Essendant cautioned in its announcement of the directors' vote favoring Staples there's no assurance Genuine Parts wouldn't adjust its merger agreement with the company.

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