Staples (SPLS) and rival Office Depot (ODP) - Get Report may be joining forces after all, but not in the way the two companies had previously expected.

As Staples  recently agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $6.9 billion, the office supply retailer has also been said to be holding talks to spin off its 1,500 retail stores to Office Depot, sources told the New York Post.

In May a federal judge blocked the nearly $6 billion merger deal between the two office supply companies on antitrust concerns.

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