November 1, 2013, 4:35 PM

OfficeMax and Office Depot merger clears a major hurdle

The FTC gives their proposed merger its unconditional approval.

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The Federal Trade Commission has unconditionally approved the proposed merger of office supplies titans Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax Inc., the agency said today. The all-stock merger deal, which is still subject to final closing conditions before the expected closing on Nov. 5, would create a combined company with combined 2012 web sales of $7.26 billion, according to estimated sales figures in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

The merged company would be the fifth-largest retailer by web sales, following fourth-ranked Wallmart.com, the retail e-commerce site of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is listed in the Top 500 with estimated sales of $7.7 billion. But in sales of office supplies Office Depot and OfficeMax would still trail Staples Inc., ranked second in the Top 500 with 2012 web sales of $10.3 billion. Office Depot is ranked No. 7 in the Top 500; OfficeMax, No. 11.

The two office supplies retailers say they would have total combined 2012 sales of “approximately $17 billion.”

At next week’s planned closing, the two companies intend to provide additional details related to the transaction and the merged company’s operations.

“We have been preparing for the integration for the past several months and are delighted that, with this key regulatory milestone now complete, we have taken another step in our path to becoming a combined company,” says Neil Austrian, chairman and CEO of Office Depot. “This merger represents a new beginning for Office Depot and OfficeMax—one that will enable us to create a stronger, more efficient global provider better able to compete in the dynamic and rapidly changing office solutions industry.”

The two companies announced in February that they had signed a definitive agreement to merge.

Under the terms of the agreement, OfficeMax stockholders will receive 2.69 Office Depot common shares for each share of OfficeMax common stock.

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