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Jan 11, 2021
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Staples is looking to purchase competitor Office Depot – again.

On Monday, Staples sent Office Depot's board of directors a proposal to acquire "100% of the issued and outstanding common stock" of the company for $40 per share, which it says represents a 61% premium over the chain's average closing price during the preceding 90 trading days.

The deal is valued at $2.1 billion and this is the third time Staples tried to purchase the rival chain.

Staples said in the letter, which was released publicly, that the regulatory process could take at least six months.

Office Depot confirmed in a statement that it had received Staples' acquisition proposal and the board with its advisers were reviewing it.

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"Staples has sufficient resources to finance the transaction, so our obligation to proceed with the transaction is not subject to a financing contingency," the letter said.

In May 2016, a proposed merger of the two office supply store chains was abandoned when a federal judge issued an injunction temporarily blocking the $6.3 billion deal over antitrust concerns.

The government had argued that the deal would give too much power to the combined company in the market for commercial office supplies.

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Regulators also blocked the companies' attempt to combine in 1997.

Staples went private in 2017 after being purchased by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Office Depot said as part of the review it is evaluating potential antitrust and other regulatory challenges given “past regulatory decisions blocking the combination of the two companies.”

Contributing: Charisse Jones and Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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