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Staples’ Essendant acquisition stalled

January 21, 2019

Essendant has revealed that the Federal Trade Commission’s final approval of the takeover has been postponed due to the federal government shutdown commencing 22 December 2018.

As the Worcester Business Journal reports, Ric Phillips, the President and CEO of Essendant, “said he remains confident that the deal will receive approval and close in the first quarter of the year.”

Staples’ proposed acquisition of Essendant was first confirmed in September last year, amid some controversy as a major shareholder of Essendant, Pzena Investment Management, said it would not support the proposal, as Staples’ offer was not “superior”.

“We are excited about the opportunity to move forward with this agreement, and to work with the Essendant team to complete the partnership of these two great companies, which will ultimately deliver significant value to independent resellers and end customers across the US,” said Staples at the time.

Following the announcement of the proposed takeover, Staples and Essendant announced a series of tender offer extensions.

But now, as a result of the federal government shutdown triggered by the “political deadlock” arising from the contentious issue of Donald Trump’s border wall, the deal has been temporarily stalled.

While the two companies wait to see how the political situation develops, Essendant’s Phillips said, “For the time being, it’s business as usual here”.

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