Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

agreed to buy a huge French stationery contractor for $867 million, giving it a platform to expand its office supply business in nine European countries.

The company agreed to buy the segment from French retailing giant Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, and said the new operations, which complement its Viking catalog in Europe, will add 5% to 10% growth in earnings starting in 2004. Office Depot expects to complete the purchase in the spring, pending European Union approval.

Office Depot shares closed up 20 cents, or 1.74%, to $11.70 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.