The ODP Corporation has announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a plan to pursue a separation of the Company into two independent, publicly traded companies, each with a unique and highly focused strategy and investment profile:

  1. ODPa leading provider of retail consumer and small business products and services distributed via approximately 1,100 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations and an award-winning eCommerce presence, officedepot.com; and
  2. NewCo” – a leading B2B solutions provider (ODP’s Business Solutions Division contract business, Grand & Toy and ODP’s independent regional office supply distribution businesses) serving small, medium and enterprise level companies. NewCo will also own the Company’s newly formed B2B digital platform technology business, including BuyerQuest, as well as the Company’s global sourcing office and its other sourcing, supply chain and logistics assets.

The separation is expected to occur through a distribution of shares of NewCo as a tax-free dividend to ODP’s shareholders as of a record date to be determined by the directors of ODP, after which ODP shareholders will own 100% of the equity in both of the publicly traded companies.

“We believe creating two focused, pure-play companies will unlock significant opportunities by improving our ability to meet the needs of our customers, while better matching assets and investment profiles of both companies to generate greater value for our shareholders,” said Gerry Smith, CEO of The ODP Corporation. “Maximizing the strategic focus and financial flexibility of each entity and aligning their go-to-market strategies and capital investments will enable us to meet customer demand. In addition, positioning their respective growth trajectories and shareholder specific return profiles will achieve appropriate market valuations. The separation will also provide exciting opportunities for our employees, whose dedication and talent will enable both companies to realize their full potential.”

Compelling Benefits of the Separation

The ODP Board believes the separation will allow ODP and NewCo to pursue market opportunities, accelerate growth and unlock significant value for shareholders and all stakeholders. ODP expects key benefits of the separation to include:

  • Allowing ODP and NewCo to pursue specific strategies with more targeted investment opportunities and growth objectives;
  • Focusing on customers’ needs through aligned go-to-market strategies and innovation;
  • Attracting talent and leveraging employees’ expertise, supporting their development, and providing greater career development opportunities; and
  • Matching assets and investments to maximize valuation and better align with shareholder return profiles.

Smith continued, “We are fortunate to be undertaking this process from a position of financial, operational, and organizational readiness, with significant liquidity, providing us flexibility in determining how to allocate capital between the separated entities. We are in a position of strength, having recently streamlined our retail operations for cost efficiencies, while adding net new customers for future growth in our BSD contract division and developing a new digital platform business, including the acquisition of BuyerQuest. With the flexibility created by our holding company reorganization last year, and after careful deliberation, we are now ready to take this exciting next step in our evolution.”

Transaction Details

The separation is intended to be completed during the first half of 2022. While ODP and NewCo will be separate, independent public companies, they will share commercial agreements that will allow them to continue to leverage scale benefits in such areas as product sourcing and supply chain.

Additional details of the separation are expected to be announced in the coming months. It is anticipated that both companies will be capitalized to provide the financial flexibility to take advantage of future strategic opportunities. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC are acting as legal and financial advisor to the Company, respectively.

Finally, the sale process for CompuCom, ODP’s managed workplace services provider subsidiary, is moving forward as planned, unrelated to and unaffected by today’s announcement.

Source: ODP Corporation