Office Depot acquired CompuCom for $1 billion in 2017.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 3, 2022

2 Min Read
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ODP (Office Depot) is selling its CompuCom Systems subsidiary to an affiliate of Variant Equity in a transaction worth up to $305 million.

This is Variant Equity’s first MSP acquisition. Jay McBain is Forrester’s principal analyst of channel partnerships and alliances. He said the transaction represents an “extremely low valuation for MSP revenue with blue chip clients.”

Office Depot acquired CompuCom for $1 billion in 2017. At the time, the acquisition highlighted Office Depot’s new strategic direction.

CompuCom would have been offered to the broader private equity market, McBain said. In addition, other large service providers could bid on it.

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Forrester’s Jay McBain

“And this was the highest offer?” he said.

Founded in 2017, Variant Equity is a private equity firm that focuses on a range of industries including transportation and logistics, technology and business services.

Office Depot hired channel vet Janet Schijns as executive vice president and chief services and solution officer at the time of the acquisition. Her role later expanded, but in early 2019 she left Office Depot to rejoin her consulting firm, JS Group, as CEO and co-founder.

Third Retail-Managed Services Failure

In his blog just after Office Depot announced it was acquiring CompuCom, McBain asked if third time would be the charm for a large retailer to tackle managed services at scale.

“Both Staples and Best Buy failed previously,” he said. “We now know our answer.”

Anthony Scaglione is ODP’s chief financial officer.

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ODP’s Anthony Scaglione

“This action represents an important step in continuing to align our business model and resources towards our core strategy. “By enhancing our core focus, and leveraging our B2B assets and digital commerce platform, we are in an excellent position to maximize returns for our shareholders. We’re excited about completing this important step for our future and the increase in our share buyback authorization,” Scaglione said.

Farhaad Wadiah is Variant Equity’s managing partner.

CompuCom has a long history of providing excellent technology support and services for its large blue-chip customer base,” he said.

Last March, a ransomware attack caused CompuCom to lose more than $20 million. The attack took down many of its systems.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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