The Wall Street Journal: Staples agrees to sell to Sycamore for $6.9 billion

Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners agreed to buy Staples Inc. for about $6.9 billion, a bold bet on a company whose sales have been shrinking in recent years.

Sycamore is expected to pay $10.25 a share for Staples SPLS, +8.41% , the office-supply retailer confirmed Wednesday.

The price represents a nearly 20% premium to where the shares traded just before The Wall Street Journal reported that Staples was exploring a sale in early April. Staples shares rose 8.4% to close at $9.93 Wednesday after the Journal reported that an announcement was imminent. They edged up further after hours.

The deal would be the biggest leveraged buyout this year, according to Dealogic.

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