3M to buy Avery office products business

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MMM.N) will expand its office supplies business with the $550 million cash purchase of Avery Dennison Corp’s (AVY.N) office and consumer products unit, which includes Avery labels and HI-LITERS markers, the companies said on Tuesday.

The deal marks the latest move toward consolidation of the office supply industry, which has been hurt by high U.S. unemployment, private label competition and Asian imports.

“The structurally-challenged office product business … is in need of considerable consolidation to boost profitability,” Baird Equity research analysts said in a research note. They said the deal’s valuation was comparable to November’s deal in which MeadWestvaco Corp (MWV.N) spun off its consumer and office products business and merged it with Acco Brands Corp (ABD.N).

Full story: 3M to buy Avery office products business | Reuters.

Kells Hetherington