Grupo Gigante buys rest of Office Depot's Mexican arm

MEXICO CITY Tue Jun 4, 2013 11:33am EDT

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican retailer Grupo Gigante (GIGANTE.MX) on Tuesday said it purchased the 50 percent stake of the Mexican unit of U.S. office-supply store chain Office Depot Inc it did not already own in a deal worth 8.78 billion pesos ($691 million).

Grupo Gigante said in a statement to the local stock exchange that its acquisition of the stake in Office Depot de Mexico must be approved by Mexican regulators and a shareholders' assembly. The company said the assembly would be convened in the next few days.

In a separate statement, Office Depot says it expects Grupo Gigante's shareholder approval within 30 days.

Office Depot Inc ODP.N said its net after-tax proceeds are estimated at $550 million. The company said the proceeds will be used to redeem half of its convertible preferred shares held by BC Partners Inc. and its affiliates following shareholder approval of a planned merger with rival OfficeMax OMX.N.

Office Depot said it also expects to use a portion of the proceeds to redeem $150 million of maturing 6.25 percent bonds due in August 2013.

Grupo Gigante, which also operates supermarkets and restaurants, has more than 248 stores throughout Mexico and Central America and over $1.1 billion in annual sales.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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