The private-equity firm Sycamore was near a deal to acquire the office-supplies retailer for $US10 a share in a deal worth more than $US6.5 billion, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Staples’ stock closed at $US9.93, and the company had a market cap of about $US6 billion.
A deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday, the reports said. According to Reuters, Sycamore won an auction for the retailer.
Staples scrapped a merger with Office Depot in May 2016 that would have given it more muscle to compete with online retailers.
A federal judge had ordered the deal to be temporarily halted on antitrust concerns. The decision was hailed by the Federal Trade Commission, which preferred that both companies remain competitors.
A Staples spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.