Office Depot and OfficeMax announced today the entrance into a definitive merger agreement in which the companies would “combine in an all-stock merger of equals.” The companies stated that this merger will provide customers with enhanced offerings through its improved competitiveness in the office solutions industry.
“In the past decade, with the growth of the internet, our industry has changed dramatically. Combining our two companies will enhance our ability to serve customers around the world, offer new opportunities for our employees, make us a more attractive partner to our vendors, and increase stockholder value,” said Neil Austrian, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Office Depot. “Office Depot and OfficeMax share a similar vision and culture, and will greatly benefit from drawing on the industry’s most talented people, combining our best practices and realizing significant savings. We are confident that this merger of equals represents a new beginning for our two companies and will allow us to build a more competitive enterprise for the long term.”
The combined companies expect to produce an office solutions business that’s combined annual revenue, which ended in December 29th, 2012, was a total of approximately $18 billion.
The agreement will offer OfficeMax stockholders 2.69 Office Depot common shares for each OfficeMax common stock.
“We are excited to bring together two companies intent on accelerating innovation for our customers and better differentiating us for success in a dynamic and highly competitive global industry,” said Ravi Saligram, President and CEO of OfficeMax. “We are confident that there will be exciting new opportunities for employees as part of a truly global business. Together, we will have the opportunity to build on our strong digital platforms and to expand our multichannel capabilities to better serve our customers and to compete more effectively. Importantly, this merger of equals transaction will provide stockholders of both companies with a compelling opportunity to participate in the long-term upside potential of the combined company.”
The merger agreement specifies that the new company will have equal parts OfficeMax and Office Depot representation on the company’s Board of Directors to ensure equal input on important decisions. The transaction is expected to close by end of 2013 after shareholder approval.