September 23, 2016 / 5:31 PM / 3 years ago

Office Depot to sell European operations to Aurelius Group

An Office Depot store is pictured in Encinitas, California, February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Office Depot Inc (ODP.O) said on Friday it would sell its European operations to investment company Aurelius Group, four months after the office supplies retailer said it would explore strategic alternatives for the business.

The company, which did not disclose a deal value, said the deal would be structured as an equity sale for “nominal consideration.”

Office Depot’s European business brings in annual sales of about 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion), the company said in a statement.

The deal is subject to consultation with the central works council, which represents employees in France, besides regulatory clearances.

Office Depot will have to pay 5 million euros ($5.62 million) to Aurelius if it doesn't exercise its option to sell after consultations within the prescribed time or if it fails to participate in the consultation process, according to a regulatory filing. (bit.ly/2cX4wh4)

The second-largest office supplies retailer said in May that it was considering selling some of its European Operations after calling off a merger with larger rival Staples Inc SPLS.O due to antitrust concerns.

Shares of Office Depot were up 1.1 percent at $3.67 in afternoon trade. The stock has lost about half its value in the last 12 months.

Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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