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Office Depot agrees to buy eastern European supplier

Office Depot Inc., the world's second-largest office-supplies retailer, agreed to buy Papirius s.r.o. to sell paper and pens to companies in Eastern Europe. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed. Papirius has annual revenue of more than $56 million and operations in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary and Slovakia, Delray Beach, Florida-based Office Depot said yesterday in a statement. The acquisition will expand Office Depot's international unit, which comprised 24% of the company's 2005 sales. Co-founders Petr Sykora and Jan Cerny will remain as managing directors of the company, which is based in the Czech Republic. Office Depot sells in 36 countries and has affiliates in another five. It operates 1,071 stores in North America and 322 internationally as of July 1. Shares of Office Depot rose 13 cents to $36.75 at 1:17 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has risen 17% this year. (Bloomberg)