|Staples Inc. Acquires European Office Supply Companies|
| Business Editors|
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 11, 1999--
Enhances German Operations and Expands to Two New Countries
Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire three European office supply companies -- Sigma Burowelt in Germany, Office Centre in the Netherlands, and Office Centre in Portugal. The acquisition will expand the company's European presence to 120 superstores.
"This acquisition gives us established retail locations in two
new countries, and will enhance our current operations in Germany,"
said Joseph S. Vassalluzzo, president of Staples Realty and
Development. "The European office supplies superstore marketplace
holds tremendous growth opportunities. We estimate that Europe
currently can support approximately 2,000 office superstores, with the
market for office supplies growing at about eight percent annually."
The agreement is subject to appropriate regulatory approvals and
is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The transaction
will be accounted for as a purchase, and the company anticipates no
material near-term impact from this transaction.
Staples will acquire 41 office supply superstores through the
acquisitions, including 15 stores in Germany, bringing Staples' total
number of German stores to 41. In addition, Staples will enter
operations in two new countries by acquiring 21 superstores in the
Netherlands and five superstores in Portugal. Additionally, Staples
currently operates 53 stores in the United Kingdom.
"In addition to obtaining these store locations, we also are
gaining the regional expertise and superior talent of the companies'
existing management," said Ronald L. Sargent, president and chief
operating officer of Staples. "The senior managers of the three
companies, Theo van Brandenburg of Office Centre in the Netherlands;
Carlos Maia of Office Centre in Portugal; and Klaus Uhl, Sven Dilba
and Jurgen Sander of Sigma in Germany, have all signed agreements to
join the Staples team. This should further strengthen our existing
European infrastructure already in place."
The three companies are one-stop shopping superstore concepts,
focusing on every day low pricing on a wide assortment of office
supplies. Office Centre in the Netherlands is a business-only,
cash-and-carry format office supply superstore. The merchandise
assortment of the stores is similar to Staples' existing European
retail operations, and they target small business customers.
Staples Inc. is a $7 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 and Germany. 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
44,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,000 office
superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business.
More information about the company is available at
--30--mm/bos* CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACT: Staples Inc. Shannon Lapierre, 508/253-8468 Public Relations Manager firstname.lastname@example.org or INVESTOR CONTACT: Staples Inc. Catherine Woods, 508/253-7342 Investor Relations Manager email@example.com KEYWORD: MASSACHUSETTS INDUSTRY KEYWORD: COMED COMPUTERS/ELECTRONICS RETAIL