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Jan. 14, 2022, 8:00 a.m. EST

ODP Corp. delays public company separation to review a new bid for its consumer business

The ODP Corp. (NAS:ODP) said Friday its board has decided to delay its plan to split into two companies to give it time to evaluate the potential sale of its consumer business. The office supplies retailer approved a plan for a tax-free spin off to its shareholders last May that would separate ODP from Office Depot. Then in November, it got an offer from USR Parent Inc., parent of Staples and a portfolio company of private-equity firm Sycamore Partners, for its consumer business, including Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores business, the Company's direct channel business (officedepot.com), and the Office Depot and OfficeMax intellectual property, including all brand names, for $1 billion in cash. "The company remains in conversation with Sycamore as it further evaluates the potential value and regulatory risk of Sycamore's proposed transaction," it said in a statement. In December, it received another bid from a third party but declined to specify the size of that offer. "We look forward to further evaluating the potential sale of ODP's consumer business to determine whether a sale may provide greater value for our shareholders than a public company separation," CEO Gerry Smith said. "If the consumer business is not sold, then ODP's Board of Directors will reevaluate the advisability and timing of the public company separation." Shares have fallen 10% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) has gained 22.8%.

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