PE firm Platinum Equity to buy OfficeMax’ AUS, NZ business

An employee of a money changer holds a stack of U.S. Dollar notes before giving it to a customer in Jakarta. Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta

US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity is acquiring office supplies retailer OfficeMax’ business in Australia and New Zealand from its Nasdaq-listed owner Office Depot.

The acquisition comes soon after the recent purchase of another office supplies firm and an OfficeMax competitor Staple Inc’s Australia and New Zealand business by the private equity firm.

The OfficeMax transaction is subject to regulatory approval in each country and is expected to close within the next several months, according to a media statement issued earlier this week.

Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

“We are pleased to provide Office Depot a divestiture solution that meets the company’s needs…We look forward to working with the OfficeMax management team to continue improving the company’s offering, enhancing the customer experience and driving sustainable growth,” said Adam Cooper, principal at Platinum Equity.

The mix — Staples and OfficeMax — will position Platinum’s portfolio as a market leader in Australia’s business-to-business market office supplies market, with perhaps as much as 90 per cent of the B2B market in Australia and New Zealand. Other competitors in this space are COS and Lyreco.

The Staples acquisition that was announced last month is expected to complete by the second quarter of this year, according to a statement issued by Platinum. The terms of this deal were also not disclosed.

Meanwhile, the sale of its business assets and operations in Australia and New Zealand has come for Office Depot as it shifts its focus to its US business operations. Additionally, it has recently been divesting its European subsidiaries as well.

Baker McKenzie, Bell Gully, and Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills are serving as legal counsel to Platinum Equity for the current acquisition.

Founded in 1995, Platinum Equity has more than $11 billion of assets under management (AUM) and specialises in mergers, acquisitions and operations. It acquires and operates businesses that have been part of large corporate entities across an array of business markets. 

It currently has a portfolio of approximately 30 operating companies that serve customers worldwide and is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV, a $6.5 billion global buyout fund. Industry verticals it has exposure to include manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries.

According to Platinum Equity, it has completed more than 185 acquisitions till date.

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