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DEERFIELD, IL — Essendant, Inc. today announced that its Board of Directors, after consultation with Essendant's legal and financial advisors, has determined that the proposal from Staples, Inc. to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Essendant common stock for $12.80 per share in cash constitutes a "Superior Proposal" as defined in Essendant's previously announced merger agreement with Genuine Parts Company. Staples previously submitted an unsolicited offer on April 17, 2018, which it reaffirmed on Sept. 4, 2018, to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Essendant common stock for $11.50 per share in cash. As part of its current proposal, Staples delivered to Essendant a merger agreement signed by Staples.

As previously announced, Essendant and GPC entered into a definitive merger agreement on April 12, 2018, in which Essendant agreed to combine with GPC's S.P. Richards business.

Essendant is delivering notice to GPC of the Board's determination that the Staples proposal constitutes a Superior Proposal and intends to terminate the S.P. Richards merger to enter into the merger agreement with Staples. Under the terms of the S.P. Richards merger agreement, such notice commences a three business day period, during which the Essendant Board may not change its recommendation that shareholders vote in favor of the S.P. Richards transaction nor terminate the S.P. Richards merger agreement.  During this period, GPC has the right to propose amendments to the terms of the S.P. Richards merger agreement.

There can be no assurance that the Staples proposal will result in the consummation of a transaction. Further, there can be no assurance that GPC will propose any adjustments to the S.P. Richards merger agreement. At this time, Essendant remains subject to the S.P. Richards merger agreement and the Essendant Board has not changed its recommendation with respect to the S.P. Richards transaction, nor has it made any recommendation with respect to the Staples proposal.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is acting as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as legal counsel to Essendant.

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