PBS - Holding ag

PBS Holding to buy Depot subsidiaries

Office Depot Europe has announced that it has agreed to sell its subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to Austria-based multichannel office products player PBS Holding.

By Michelle Sturman – 26 September 2019

Office Depot Europe has announced that it has agreed to sell its subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to Austria-based multichannel office products player PBS Holding.

According to Depot, the divestment of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) business forms part of the company?s transformation plan, which started following its acquisition by private equity firm Aurelius. This strategy includes significant investment and organisational changes to the group?s e-commerce capabilities, along with enhancing system efficiencies and a customer-centric approach.

The CEE subsidiary focuses primarily on the Contract business, servicing SME organisations and the public sector. Under the transformation plan, the business has extended its product and service offering into adjacent areas such as furniture, PPE, jan/san and managed print.

PBS already serves customers in the Czech and Slovak Republics and this deal ? subject to the usual regulatory approvals ? will help strengthen its position in these markets. The press release said Office Depot Europe and PBS will ?collaborate in serving international corporations? across the two countries, but did not provide specific details.

The purchase certainly fits with PBS?s strategy of expansion, something that CEO Richard Scharmann alluded to in an OPI interview last year. At the time, PBS already operated in seven European countries and he said the company would be looking to make acquisitions in 2019.