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Starboard urges Staples merger with Office Depot

Starboard urges Staples merger with Office Depot

Activist investment firm Starboard Value LP called for a merger between office supply companies Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc. in a letter Tuesday. 

The investor bought a stake in Staples and increased its investment in Office Depot last month, fueling speculation that the firm would push for a merger.

The two companies can double their operating profits and better compete with online retailers if they merge, Starboard managing member Jeffrey C. Smith said in the letter addressed to Staples Chief Executive Ronald L. Sargent.

"We have met with and spoken to a number of large Staples shareholders and Wall Street research analysts who strongly, and...