The Washington Post Sunday - - TAKING STOCK -

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.

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