Corporate Express to buy French peer

Office supplies group Corporate Express has made a €1.73bn bid for French peer Lyreco. The cash and share offer has the approval of both management boards.

Corporate Express is currently under siege from US office group Staples which wants to buy the Dutch firm for €2.8bn. Corporate Express has dismissed the offer as too low.
Corporate Express CEO Peter Ventress is quoted by news agency ANP as denying the two events are related. ‘We would have done this if Staples was not on the horizon. It is a logical combination because we complement each other.’
If the Lyreco bid goes through, it will create a company with annual sales of €7.8bn. The company would be the biggest player in the North America and European business market, Corporate Express says.

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