The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Staples to buy Pinault’s mail unit

New York, Aug. 23 (Reuters): Staples Inc, the No. 2 US office supply chain, said on Thursday it agreed to acquire the European mail-order business of French retailer Pinault Printemps Redoute (PPR) for about $ 800 million to boost its presence in the European market.

The deal gives Staples an entry into the mail-order business in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, and expands its foothold in the United Kingdom. It gives Paris-based PPR, Europe’s biggest nonfood retailer, much-needed cash to relieve its heavy debt load.

“We’ll now become a $ 1.4 billion player with a strong number two position in European mail-order overall,” Staples chief executive Ron Sargent said in a conference call. Sargent said the deal would provide a platform for transforming Staples’ European business, making it less reliant on retail.

Sargent said in an interview that the company sought out the deal because mail-order is Staples’ fastest growing and most profitable business.

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