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Office Depot Sells Australian Operations
Dec 2, 2002
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Office Depot, Inc., a global office products and equipment retailer, said yesterday it reached a definitive agreement with Officeworks, a subsidiary of Coles Myer, to sell its Australian operations. The acquisition of the company's Viking Office Products Pty Ltd. and Viking Direct Pty Ltd. operations are subject to regulatory approval but are expected to be completed by year-end. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"While our Viking Australian operations have achieved success over the past nine years, industry consolidation has made it difficult to continue to grow shareholder value in Australia," commented Bruce Nelson, Office Depot chairman and CEO. "We continue to have tremendous opportunities for growth and expansion in Europe, where the majority of our international operations now reside, and this sale is the right strategic move for Office Depot to ensure sustainable growth in shareholder value over the longer-term."

Coles Myer Chief Executive Officer John Fletcher noted that the acquisition of Australia's largest direct marketer of office supplies would further strengthen Coles Myer's Officeworks business, establishing it as a major multi-channel provider of office supplies. Mr. Fletcher also said that the Viking acquisition was in line with its five-year strategic plan to substantially grow the Officeworks business.

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