Leeds-based Endless agrees deal to acquire o2o

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A LEEDS-based turnaround investor has agreed a deal to buy a major business supplies provider.

Endless has agreed to acquire office2office (o2o), which it plans to merge with Vasanta, its wholesaling and contract stationery business.

Endless has reached agreement with the board of o2o to acquire the company’s entire share capital in a recommended cash offer. The offer is being made through EVO Business Supplies, a new company owned by funds managed by Endless.

o2o, which is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, is a provider of business supplies and outsourced business services. These services are mainly provided to large private and public sector customers, through its managed procurement and business services activities. The group employs around 900 staff, and is headquartered in Norwich. The offer of 51p a share represents a premium of 84.6 per cent to o2o’s closing price of 27.625p on August 20 and values the company’s equity at around £19m. In the year ended December 31 2013, o2o’s revenues were £231.9m, with underlying profit before tax of £4.2m.

Endless said: “The o2o acquisition is subject to shareholder and court approval, meaning that, at this stage, there is no certainty on timings or indeed of the transaction necessarily being approved. We anticipate court and shareholders meetings before the end of September 2014. Endless already knows the business supplies market well. Its majority-owned portfolio company, Vasanta, offers wholesaling and contract stationery through a distribution network based around three highly automated warehouses with its headquarters based in Sheffield. Vasanta’s revenues in the year to December 2013 were £415m.”

Endless said it had identified a strategic opportunity to combine Vasanta and o2o, with EVO as the new holding company of both businesses.

Matthew Deering, an investment director of Endless, said: “We believe that o2o is a business with a number of attractive characteristics which will benefit from the operational expertise and financial support of Endless.”

Andy Thorburn of EMIS

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