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Basics of Office Depot

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Background on Office Depot

Office Depot (ODP) is a global supplier of office products and services to businesses and consumers. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, it has 64,000 employees and operates worldwide. The firm is currently in a merger agreement with Staples (SPLS) and operates three divisions:

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North American Retail Division

The North American Retail Division sells a broad assortment of merchandise through its chain of office supply stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The division offers office supplies, technology products and solutions, business machines and supplies, facilities products, and office furniture from national brands as well as its own private brand.

The division consists of 1,851 stores and accounted for roughly 42% of the company’s sales in the third quarter. About 39% of North American Retail’s sales come from newly acquired OfficeMax stores.

North American Business Services Division

The North American Business Solutions Division sells nationally branded and the company’s own brand office supplies. It also sells technology products, cleaning and breakroom supplies, office furniture, certain services, and other solutions to customers in Canada and the United States, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Office Depot customers are served by a dedicated sales force, as well as through catalogs, telesales, electronically through its Internet sites, and limited store locations in Canada.  This division targets small and medium enterprise businesses as well as schools and government. In the third quarter, the North American Business Services Division accounted for 37% of sales.

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International Division

The International Division sells office products and services through direct mail catalogs, contract sales forces, Internet sites, and retail stores, primarily through company-owned operations. It also utilizes joint ventures and, to a lesser extent, licensing and franchise agreements, alliances, and other arrangements.

Other merger arbitrage resources

For a primer on how to conduct risk arbitrage investing, read Merger arbitrage must-knows: A key guide for investors.

Other important merger spreads include Hospira (HSP) and Pfizer (PFE). Investors who are interested in trading risk arbitrage through an ETF should consider the IQ Merger Arbitrage ETF (MNA).

Correction: When this article was originally published, it mistakenly indicated that Office Depot is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts. The company is actually headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. We regret this error.

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