In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
Please block the Staples/Essendent merger. This merger presents an unacceptable threat to competition and to those companies' employees. This proposed merger is driven by Sycamore Partners private equity fund, which has already started gutting Staples by closing most of its NineWest Stores and by stripping assets from the Aeropostale and Hot Topics businesses. The game plan here is obviously to destroy value from anyone except the private equity fund while slashing wages, benefits, and jobs. If this merger goes through, investors in a private equity fund will have more power to reduce competition, close stores, and lay off workers. Private equity funds have had a devastating effect on retail across America. When one such fund closed Toys R Us last year, 31,000 people immediately lost their jobs. There is also long-term damage to communities from store closures. In many cases private equity funds also try to eliminate the competition. In this case, a private equity fund that owns Staples wants to merge it with another office supply company. The result will be to kill off competition -- and eventually, kill off another successful retailer. There is not reason to allow this merger.