8 December 2016
Clifford Chance advises Staples on the sale of a controlling interest in Staples’ European operations to a Cerberus affiliate
Staples, Inc. and Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. have entered into an agreement in relation to the sale of a controlling interest in Staples’ European operations to a Cerberus affiliate. Staples’ European business consists of retail, contract, and online businesses in 16 countries generating aggregate annual sales of approximately EUR 1.7bn. Staples is retaining a 15 percent equity interest in the business and will be represented on its board of directors following the closing of the transaction. In accordance with applicable law, Staples will now consult relevant European works councils. Subject to these consultations and satisfaction of other conditions, the parties anticipate closing the transaction during the first quarter of Staples’ fiscal 2017 year.
Upon closing of the transaction, the Staples Europe business will be separated into a privately-held company controlled by an affiliate of Cerberus. The new company will enter into a licensing agreement with Staples for the use of certain Staples intellectual property, including its brand, a global accounts agreement, and transition services agreement governing a variety of services for defined periods. The company will operate under the Staples banner name and other sub-brands in European markets, and its associates will continue to be employees of Staples Europe, which will maintain its headquarters in Amsterdam.
The Clifford Chance core team that advised Staples was led by Thijs Alexander and furthermore consisted of David Griston, Michiel Sunderman, Floris van de Bult, Alvin Khodabaks, Wijnanda Rutten, Line Poliquin and Mark Loefs.