Shares in Staples soared Tuesday morning in the wake of a report that the office supplies retailer may be up for sale.
The company is having discussions with a group of private equity entities that could potentially take it over, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the conversations. It added that the discussions are just beginning and may ultimately not lead to any tie-up.
Shares were up 12.76% to $9.77 in morning trading.
Like many traditional retailers, Staples has been grappling with declining sales as consumers increasingly turn to Amazon and other online sellers to make their purchases. The Framingham, Mass.-based retailer has said that it will close 70 stores this year, and in the quarter that ended Jan. 28, it posted sales of $4.6 billion, a 3% dip as compared to that period a year earlier.
In May, Staples and Office Depot abandoned plans to merge after a federal judge issued an injunction temporarily blocking the $6.3 billion deal. The quashing of the tie-up required Staples to pay its office supply rival a $250 million break-up fee. Staples also said at the time that it would scrap plans to sell more than $550 million of its major corporate contract business to Essendant, another office products business that was due to receive the stake as part of the Office Depot merger agreement.
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