OfficeMax Australia bidder buys up rival office supplies player

OfficeMax Australia bidder buys up rival office supplies player

Creates $200 million office supplies business

Less than six months after being granted permission to make an acquisition bid on OfficeMax Australia, local office supplies provider Complete Office Supplies (COS) has snapped up the Australian division of fellow business-to-business (B2B) office products supplier Lyreco for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is estimated to give COS, which claims to be the second largest B2B office supplier in the Australian market, a valuation of about $215 million.

Lyreco, meanwhile, will retain COS as a valued trusted partner to service its international customers in Australia.

COS founder and CEO Dominique Lyone said the acquisition will help spur its growth trajectory in the market. The family-owned business, which Lyone established 40 years ago, began selling typewriter ribbon and carbon paper in Western Sydney.

Since then, COS has an estimated annual revenue of $145 million and Lyreco’s Australian branch has generated an estimated $70 million annual revenue. Lyreco established a presence in Australia in 2004 when it acquired the operations of the office products supplier, National 1.

“COS is Australia’s largest and fastest growing privately owned office products supplier. We pride ourselves on the innovative ways we compete in the market, and the ways we service and provide a superior experience for our customers,” Lyone said.  

‘I’ve been impressed by its operations and ability to grow and compete in the market will help the COS brand to expand into the market exponentially.”

Lyreco Australia employs about 245 people and sells a similar range of products to COS,and acquisition will help broaden Lyreco’s product offering to customers. The full integration of Lyreco into COS will take about four months to complete.

“Sharing values with a family mindset and combining Lyreco Australia and COS expertise, I am convinced COS will be a powerful player on the Australian marketplace and a strong valuable partner for Lyreco's international customers", Lyreco CEO, Hervé Milcent, said.

“For Lyreco customers and staff, for now it is business as usual. A detailed integration plan will be put into place making sure it is a smooth transition of customers,” Lyone said.

“Blending COS and Lyreco business and teams, will deliver synergies that will ensure we are a mighty and respected competitor in our space. Customers in Australia will be delighted that COS is a clear locally owned and operated alternative, with significant buying clout to  deliver competitive prices, values added services that equal global standards.”

There have been significant consolidation in the Australian office supplies arena in recent times, with the two largest foreign-owned competitors, Winc and Office Max, merging. 

Platinum Equity, a US-based private equity investment firm, struck a deal to acquire Staples’ Australian and New Zealand operations in March last year, subsequently rebranding the business as Winc.

A month later, the private equity firm, took this up a gear, inking a deal to acquire Office Depot’s OfficeMax business in Australia and New Zealand.

At the time, the ACCC flagged its competition concerns about the deal, but ultimately allowed it to go ahead.

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Tags retail marketLyrecoWincComplete Office Supplies


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