AURELIUS Equity Opportunities (ISIN: DE000A0JK2A8) announced today that an AURELIUS subsidiary has signed an agreement to sell the remaining business of Office Depot Europe, i.e. Viking and the remaining operational From Office Depot Europe to the strategic investor RAJA (based in Roissy, France)
The RAJA Group is Europe’s leading B2B mail order company for packaging, business and warehouse equipment and an important player in the market for office supplies and furniture. After the sale of its activities in southern, eastern and northern Europe over the last three years, the sale of the remaining business in northern western Europe completes the exit from the investment office Depot Europe. The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
With the brands Viking and Office Depot, the company that has now been sold is present in several European markets in the DACH region, Benelux, Great Britain and Ireland and supplies a customer base that ranges from small start-ups to large corporations. It has many years of experience and expertise in the office supplies market, an integrated omnichannel platform and dedicated teams of experts for its most important segments and brands.
Office Depot Europe was taken over by AURELIUS in 2017 in the form of a carve-out from the US group Office Depot, Inc. Since then, AURELIUS has made extensive investments in the company’s e-commerce activities, which has led to the strategic realignment of Office Depot Europe. The focus was on Viking’s strength in the e-commerce business, which generated almost 90 percent of sales in the online business. In the past three years, essential parts of the company have been sold to strategic investors in order to secure the future and development within the framework of a new ownership structure. With today’s sale to the RAJA Group, this sale process has been completed.
“It is great to complete the exit from Office Depot Europe after a successful realignment and transformation. As a long-term strategic investor, this transaction offers the RAJA Group great potential and a good basis to further advance and develop the business, ”says Fritz Seemann, executive director of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities.
“This acquisition represents an excellent strategic opportunity to strengthen our market position in Europe, especially in those countries where we already have RAJA subsidiaries. The transaction will further expand the Group’s presence and give new impetus to our ambitions in the office supply market. This acquisition fits in perfectly with our strategic vision of being a global partner for European companies – from start-ups to multinational corporations – and will further strengthen our partnership with world-famous brands, “says Danièle Kapel-Marcovici, CEO of RAJA- Group.
Raffael Reinhold, CEO of Office Depot Europe, adds: “We very much appreciate the opportunities RAJA offers us and look forward to being part of the RAJA Group. The strategic realignment of our business has aroused the interest of this strategic investor and offers a very good starting position to further advance our company together. We would like to thank AURELIUS for the good and successful cooperation and support during the fundamental transformation process in recent years. “
AURELIUS was advised on the transaction by PwC (M&A), Deloitte (financial due diligence) and Jones Day (legal).