American chains Staples and Office Depot are apparently in advanced merger talks, according to sources in both companies. Despite the talks, it remains to be seen whether a deal will be struck.
Staples currently has a market value of 11 billion dollars (9. billion euro), while Office Depot is valued at 4 billion dollars (3.5 billion euro). A merger would create a company with 4,000 stores and a 35 billion dollar (30.5 billion euro) turnover.
Both companies almost merged back in 1997, but the antitrust authority prevented the deal back then and is also carefully looking at the current proceedings. However, many analysts believe a merger is on the cards now, because the market has changed now that there is increased competition from Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target and other companies.
Investor Starboard Value, which owns 6 % of Staples and 10 % of Office Depot, is all in favor of a merger. It feels a merger would considerably boost the operational profit margin.