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BOCA RATON, FL-Locally based Office Depot Inc. has received a $350-million investment from private equity firm BC Partners Ltd., giving it a 20% stake in the office supplies retailer. In exchange for the cash infusion, three of the London-based firm’s executives have been named to Office Depot’s board of directors.

BC Partners on Tuesday purchased $275 million worth of Office Depot’s newly created 10% Series A redeemable convertible perpetual preferred stock, plus $75 million in 10% Series B redeemable conditional convertible perpetual preferred stock. Office Depot, which has 1,600 stores worldwide and annual sales of $14.5 billion, says it will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes.

Steve Odland, Office Depot chairman and CEO, stated in a release that BC Partners has “a very successful investment track record” and works with companies to implement long-term strategic plans. “This investment, combined with the continued success of our liquidity and cash flow initiatives, significantly strengthens our balance sheet,” Odland said.

“We are impressed with Steve and his leadership team and we look forward to helping them continue to navigate this challenging economic environment and position Office Depot for sustainable long-term profitable growth,” said Raymond Svider, managing partner of BC Partners. “We think this is the right time to invest in a fundamentally strong global franchise that is well positioned to succeed when the economic climate improves.”

Svider has joined Office Depot’s board along with BC Partners’ James Rubin, senior partner, and Justin Bateman, partner. The company’s board was expanded to 14 members to make room for the new directors.

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