Afternoon Coffee: Staples Scooped Up by PE Firm, FedEx CEO Proposes an Alternative Tax Overhaul

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Office supply giant Staples will be acquired by Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm, for about $6.9 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. Staples has been searching for ways to dig itself out of years of sales declines, including a failed attempt to merge with rival Office Depot that began back in 2015.

A New Day, a New Tax Plan

Frustrated with divisions and indecision coming out of Washington, FedEx CEO Fred Smith has proposed an alternative tax overhaul plan, according to Bloomberg. While the Smith plan has includes many of the provisions in the Trump administration's published plan, there’s one key difference: the absence of a border-adjusted tax.

“We at FedEx, like many major U.S. companies, are concerned the window for tax reform is closing,” Smith said to Bloomberg in an email. “Our current federal tax system is simply not globally competitive, retarding investment and the high paying jobs that follow.”

Coal Ban 

The Chinese government will ban coal imports at ports that were set up through approvals by provincial authorities starting July 1, IndustryWeek reported. Ports under the authority of the State Council will still be able to receive overseas shipments, but it is unclear how long the ban will last and what the impact to imports may be.

Pound Rises

And finally, a forex update: Sterling rose 1.2 cents, or 1%, after the Bank of England’s governor hinted he may support an interest rate rise, according to the Guardian.

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