Sycamore Partners, the private equity firm that still has faith in retail, agreed to acquire Staples for about $6.9 billion in one of the largest retail deals of the year, a wager that the office-supply chain can reemerge as a modern seller of business services. The transaction lets Staples escape Wall Street’s glare and focus on a turnaround plan that includes reducing its retail footprint. But it’s hard to tell how the buyout will fix its fundamental challenges, including the rapid migration of customers to online stores and slackening demand for traditional office supplies.
Avis Budget Group reportedly agreed to manage a fleet of 600 self-driving Chrysler minivans for Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo autonomous technology division. In addition, Hertz Global Holdings will lease Lexus sport-utility vehicles to Apple, which will convert them to selfdriving cars.