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Staples Ups Bid for Corporate Express

BY CSA STAFF

Amsterdam Staples increased its chances of winning control of Corporate Express NV on Tuesday, raising its all-cash bid for the Dutch company to 1.7 billion euros ($2.7 billion), according to the Associated Press.

Staples lifted its offer to 9.15 euros a share from the 8 euros it bid last month, contingent on Corporate Express shareholders rejecting the Dutch company’s plan announced last month to buy privately owned French peer Lyreco.

Holders of about 23.3% of Corporate Express, a wholesaler of office products, have committed to accept the offer, Staples said in a statement.

Corporate Express said it would carefully review the new offer and make a further announcement in due course, in contrast to its outright rejection of Staples’ previous bids.

The Dutch company earlier on Tuesday urged its shareholders to vote for its 1.7 billion euro takeover of Lyreco, seen as a defense against the unsolicited Staples bid, and reiterated its view that the earlier bid undervalued the company.

Staples said its new bid values Corporate Express at 9.7 times enterprise value against projected 2008 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and was at a 116% premium to the share price on Feb. 4, the day before market talk surfaced of a potential offer for the Dutch company.

Staples originally bid 7.25 euros per share in February.

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Staples to offer no-return DVD rentals

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples, according to reports, is offering a new service that allows customers to rent DVDs at its stores without having to return them.

Starting in mid June, customers will be able to rent a limited selection of titles, which are on Flexplay DVDs that automatically erases the content after 48 hourse from opening the inner package. Customers can recycle the DVDs with other plastics.

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Linens ‘N Things approved for DIP financing

BY CSA STAFF

CLIFTON, N.J. Linens ‘N Things reported that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware entered a final order approving the company’s $700 million Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) financing by General Electric Capital. The approval, granted during a Wednesday, May 28 hearing before Judge Christopher Sontchi, provides LNT with access to the capital necessary to meet its ongoing obligations during the restructuring process.

We are pleased with the Courts approval of our financing as it is an important step in our restructuring efforts, said Michael Gries, chief restructuring officer and interim ceo. It reinforces our commitment to the vendor community and to providing our guests with the assortment of merchandise and quality of service they have come to expect from Linens ‘N Things. 

Linens ‘N Things filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 on May 2 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Interim approval of the DIP financing was granted on the same day.

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