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Staples sells Staples Communications to Platinum Equity

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 4, 2001--Staples, Inc., (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced it has sold its telecommunications subsidiary, Staples Communications, to Platinum Equity L.L.C. of Los Angeles. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The sale of Staples Communications to Platinum Equity includes the company's three primary businesses serving 45,000 customers across the United States: Claricom, Inc., providing hardware sales and services, Claricom Networks, Inc., and Clarity Telecom Local Network Services, Inc., providing long distance and local network services. The company's headquarters will continue to be based in Shelton, Conn. It will operate under a new name, which will be announced shortly.

The sale follows a previously disclosed internal review by Staples of the telecommunications subsidiary. Staples concluded that the business was not a good strategic fit with the company's core business of selling office products and providing business services through independently owned service providers. Staples purchased the company, then called Claricom Holdings, in March 1999. As previously stated by Staples, the transaction will not impact 2001 earnings.

Platinum Equity (www.peh.com) is one of the largest private equity firms in the country, specializing in the acquisition and operation of global, mission-critical technology companies.

About Staples

Staples, Inc., is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

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CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
INVESTOR CONTACT:
Maria Sceppaguercio
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
508-253-7963
or
MEDIA CONTACT:
Tom Nutile
Vice President, Public Relations
508-253-1833