What You Don’t Know About Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) Sale Of European Operations

Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) is exiting Europe and it has found a buyer for its European operations. However, the company is keeping some details pertaining to its sale of its European business under wraps, including the selling price.

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The sale of Office Depot’s European operations is a fulfillment of a promise Office Depot made earlier this year. The company said that it wanted to focus its attention on the North American market. Narrowing focus to North America is expected to increase operational efficiency and lead to the creation of more value for shareholders.

European business buyer

Office Depot is selling its European operations to a privately-held investment firm known as The Aurelius Group. The deal involves assumption of all assets and liabilities. However, Office Depot has declined to disclose exactly how much it is expecting to get from the disposal of its European business. The closest that the company has come to providing a hint about the value of the transaction is a statement that said that the deal involved a nominal consideration.

Office Depot’s European business generates revenue of about $2.2 billion annually.

Failed marriage with Staples

Office Depot seems to have accelerated the process of disposing of its Europe assets after the failed attempt to merge with fellow office supplies retailer Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS). In the merger deal, Staples had agreed to acquire Office Depot for $6.3 billion, but regulators declined to approve the transaction.

The unsuccessful merger prompted Office Depot to say that it will close more stores over the coming three years. The company is targeting to close an additional 300 outlets. It has already shuttered some 400 stores amid intense competition from online retailers such as Amazon.

Breakup fee lifts Office Depot’s profit

Staples paid Office Depot a termination fee after it couldn’t close the merger deal. With that, Office Depot’s 2Q2016 EPS lifted sharply to $0.38 from EPS loss of $0.11 in the same period last year. But adjusting for the one-time gains, Office Depot posted adjusted EPS of $0.03.

Revenue for the quarter fell 6% to $3.22 billion. Topline figure is expected to continue shrinking as Office Depot closes more stores.

Office Depot stock eased nearly 3% in the last session to $3.60. The stock is down more than 36% YTD and more than 48% from one year ago.

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