Staples (SPLS) , the beleaguered office supplies retailer, is allegedly exploring a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The company is, according to WSJ sources, in talks with several private-equity bidders who could be valuing the chain at $7 billion.
Staples declined to comment.
"There's no obvious buyer for Staples among retailers and office supply manufacturers given Staples' size, the secular challenges facing the segment and the failed deal history with Office Depot," said David Silverman, Fitch Ratings' senior director of U.S. Corporates to TheStreet. "Given those challenges, it seems more like a potential buyer would be a financial investor with the resources to make a large purchase."
Silverman said that he expects Staples to continue reducing costs and closing stores while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is likely to "remain flat at best over the next two to three years."
Shares of Staples finished 9.8% higher to $9.51 on Tuesday.
Here's why Staples is likely trying to sell its struggling business.
Staples was hit hard after its failed merger with Office Depot.
Last May, a federal judge blocked Staples' proposed merger with smaller office-supplies retailer Office Depot (ODP) - Get Report , citing antitrust issues, resulting in the plummet of both companies' stocks. In October, shares of Staples fell to $7.75, the lowest they have been at in 20 years.
Staples saw its stock slip 4.44% in 2016 after plunging 46.22% the year before.
Staples is getting crushed by e-commerce competitors.
Retailers across the board are being pummeled by e-commerce giants like Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , including in apparel, home goods and, unsurprisingly, office supplies. The reasoning goes, why go to a store to buy a pack of pens when you can easily order it online?
For its recent fourth quarter, Staples saw its revenue slip 3% to $4.6 billion and its same-store sales decrease 1%. During that period, Staples completed the sale of its U.K. business and its controlling stake in the remainder of its European operations.
Staples is just one of many retailers closing waves of stores.
In 2016, Staples closed 48 stores, ending the year with 1,255 locations. This year, Staples is planning to shutter 70 more.
Office Depot, too, was forced to shutter 123 stores in 2016 and plans for the closure of 75 more amid the failed merger with Staples.