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The Wall Street Journal: Staples explores sale after failed Office Depot deal

Staples Inc. is exploring a sale, less than a year after its effort to merge with rival retailer Office Depot Inc. failed on antitrust grounds.

The Framingham, Mass., office-supplies seller SPLS, +9.82% is in talks with a small number of possible private-equity bidders, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are early and it is possible they won’t lead to a deal, the people cautioned.

Should there be one, given a typical takeover premium, it could value the retailer at roughly $7 billion or more.

Staples has been closing stores and in December agreed to sell a majority stake in its European operations to private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, seeking a turnaround after a federal judge blocked its proposed $6 billion tie-up with Office Depot ODP, +2.56% The retailer reported its fifth-straight drop in annual sales, and has lost more than one-fifth of its market value the past year.

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