Channel investors, MSP, Content

Staples Still Exploring Potential Office Depot Acquisition; CompuCom Interest Unknown


Staples is evaluating "all alternatives in its pursuit of ODP" -- the parent of Office Depot and CompuCom, a major MSP (managed IT services provider) that's striving to recover from a March 2021 ransomware attack.

The statement suggests Staples could seek to acquire all or some of the ODP businesses.

ODP, meanwhile, has been seeking to sell CompuCom since 2020. It's unclear whether a March 2021 ransomware attack against CompuCom has complicated or delayed the potential MSP sale process, or impacted CompuCom's valuation.

The CompuCom cyberattack will cost the MSP between $5 million and $8 million in lost revenue, and up to $20 million in cleanup costs, ODP disclosed in March 2021.

Office Depot and CompuCom: Mixed MSP Performance

Office Depot acquired CompuCom for $1 billion — a lofty 10 times earnings — in October 2017. The IT services business unit has generated mixed performance under ODP’s ownership — though CompuCom President Mick Slattery described key business progress to ChannelE2E in June 2020.

Despite that apparent progress,  Office Depot was exploring the potential sale of CompuCom by November 2020, ChannelE2E reported at the time.

Meanwhile, Staples and Office Depot have explored potential M&A engagements multiple times over the past decade or so. U.S. regulators blocked an earlier M&A proposal amid concerns that it was anti-competitive. But those regulatory concerns have likely subsided as both Staples and Office Depot face growing competition from Amazon and other online retailers.

Office Depot parent ODP pushed back against Staples' latest M&A pursuit in early 2021.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.