Endless to takeover Norwich’s office2office

The Banner brand, which is owned by office2office. Copyright Fergus Wilkie. 07768 825661.fergus@fot

The Banner brand, which is owned by office2office. Copyright Fergus Wilkie. 07768 825661.fergus@fototank.com

Norwich-based business supplies specialist office2office looks set to be bought by turnaround investor Endless.

The deal would see the firm combined with the Vasanta Group, with EVO Business Supplies becoming the holding company of the organisation.

But the takeover is still subject to shareholder and court approval, with meetings planned for the end of September.

Jim Cohen, chairman of office2office, which employs 900 people and has headquarters at St Crispins House on Duke Street, said: 'EVO's recommended cash offer announced represents a significant premium to office2office's current share price and will provide certainty for our shareholders.

'Following a review of strategy, we have considered a number of options for office2office's future and have concluded that combining office2office with Vasanta is the best way of creating value for our shareholders.'

Endless is the majority owner of Vasanta, which offers wholesaling and contract stationery through a distribution network based around three automated warehouses. The Sheffield-based company recorded revenues of £415m in the year ending December 2013.

Endless stated that the new company will be better able to support customers and provide the continued investment in operations needed to maintain a strong wholesaler and contract stationer supply channel.

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Mathew Deering, investment director of Endless and EVO Director, 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 Endlesss.

'Furthermore, the merger with Vasanta makes strong strategic and operational sense. It provides an exciting opportunity for the combined group to deliver a strong offering to the market going forward.'

The offer of 51p a share represents a premium of 84.6pc to o2o's closing price of 27.625p on August 20 2014 and values the company's equity at approximately £19m.

In the year ended 31 December 2013, o2o's revenues were £231.9m, with underlying profit before tax of £4.2m.

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