United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) has agreed to buy US Office Products Co.'s Mail Boxes Etc. unit, which serves retail customers and small businesses at 4,300 packaging and shipping centers. "This is a strategic fit that complements UPS's existing access channels and underscores the common vision Mail Boxes Etc. and its franchisees share with UPS to meet the changing needs of customers," said Jim Kelly, UPS chairman and CEO.

U.S. Office Products, which said it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said it will receive $200 million from UPS for the retail unit. The price is before adjustments, which are estimated to be $9 million, U.S. Office Products said.

Atlanta-based UPS already carries packages shipped through all Mail Box Etc. stores, which are privately owned franchises. UPS said it would continue to provide service to its other 7,200 retail shipping outlets where consumers and businesses drop off packages.

UPS plans to continue to have multiple package delivery companies offer service at the stores that include 3,400 U.S. outlets and 900 that are located outside the country, UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg said.

The companies said Mail Boxes Etc. CEO Jim Amos will continue to lead the business, which will become a UPS subsidiary.