U.S. office supplies giant Staples Inc. said late Wednesday that its subsidiary Staples Acquisition B.V. has entered into agreements to buy an additional 12.3 percent of Corporate Express NV's shares in its hostile bid for the Dutch office products company.
Staples on Tuesday raised its offer to $2.65 billion (1.7 billion euros) on the condition that Corporate Express shareholders reject the company's plan to buy privately owned French rival Lyreco. Staples will have a 35.6 percent stake in the company.
The selling shareholders, who owned the shares on the record date of May 29 for Corporate Express' extraordinary shareholders meeting scheduled for June 18, have granted Staples Acquisition B.V. the power of attorney to cast the votes against the Lyreco transaction during the extraordinary shareholders meeting.
If Staples completes its buyout of Corporate Express, the Dutch company could have to pay a $47 million penalty to Lyreco.
Staples shares rose 65 cents to $24.04 Wednesday.
Framingham, Mass.-based Staples Inc. operates more than 2,000 office supply stores worldwide and employs about 76,000 people. Sales in 2007 were $19.4 billion.