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Sycamore Partners secures $1.2bn for Essendant acquisition

Sycamore Partners portfolio companies Staples and Essendant will collaborate in order to give reseller customers access to an expanded product assortment, innovative technology and world-class supply

Wells Fargo Capital Finance announced this week that it has acted as the administrative agent, lead arranger, and book runner for a US$1.2bn asset-based credit facility and a $125mn term loan facility for Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm based in New York. Sycamore partners has used the facility to acquire leading national distributor of workplace items, Essendant.

“For us to be able to complete such important financing for Sycamore Partners and help the firm continue to grow its portfolio of companies is rewarding,” said Lynn Whitmore, managing director of the Retail Finance division at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “We are pleased to enhance the abilities of Essendant to deliver services to their independent reseller customers nationwide.”

Sycamore Partners pecializes in  consumer, distribution and retail-related investments and partners with management teams to improve the operating profitability and strategic value of their business. The company currently has approximately $10bn in assets under management, including Hot Topic, Coldwater Creek, CommerceHub and Staples.

Following the acquisition, Essendant will work in conjunction with Staples in order to give reseller customers access to an expanded product assortment, innovative technology and world-class supply chain capabilities and support. Essendant and Staples’ sales teams will continue to operate separately.

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“Staples views the reseller community as partners in serving customers that will allow us all to be successful,” said Sandy Douglas, Chief Executive Officer, Staples, Inc. “We value the relationships the resellers have built with Essendant and look forward to helping them build on their already impressive success. We’ve created a strong, externally monitored firewall, to protect resellers’ confidential information, as required by the FTC, and also as a sign of trust, because we know it’s the best thing for the Essendant business, and the resellers.”

“Essendant has been a key partner to the reseller community for almost a century, and we see that relationship only strengthening by working with Staples,” said Harry Dochelli, who will move into the role of Essendant CEO as part of the transition. “Essendant brings a unique value proposition to its reseller partners, and with Staples, will now have enhanced capabilities to provide to our customers, enabling them to win in the marketplace.”

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