Office Depot puts Australian operations on the block

Less than 10 years after entering the Australian market, office products conglomerate Office Depot, which mails the Viking Office Products catalog, plans to sell its catalog and Internet operations there.

Last year, Office Depot acquired Perth-based contract stationer Sands & McDougall. Viking began mailing into Australia in 1993.

Even taking into account the few remaining acquisition opportunities, explains Office Depot spokesperson Eileen Dunn, the operations wouldn’t generate the needed critical mass for profitability. “We were fourth in the [office supplies] market there, and we didn’t feel that we could grow,” she says.

Office Depot, which hired Goldman Sachs to help find a buyer, hopes to complete a sale by the end of the year. The marketer sells products and services in 19 countries.

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