Staples Inc’s $1 billion acquisition of Corporate Express Australia Ltd

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In one of the largest takeover bids of 2010, Corrs advised Staples Inc, the world’s largest office products company, on its $1 billion acquisition of Corporate Express Australia Ltd.

The transaction involved innovative structuring to allow for a fully franked special dividend, funded by Staples, to be paid to shareholders as part of the offer consideration.

While this is becoming common in schemes, the timing, structuring and funding arrangements are significantly more complex in a takeover bid.

The offer was subject to conditions including FIRB, 90% minimum acceptance and the ASX all ordinaries index not falling 20%.

The offer closed on July 26, 2010 with Staples having a 98.5% interest. Staples compulsorily acquired all remaining shares of Corporate Express.