Saturday, November 2, 2013

Office Depot Merger With OfficeMax Wins U.S. Approval

Blog Publisher’s comment:

Well, I’m certain that this merger will reduce the number of stores they operate and, with that, the number of “copy centers” they operate.

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Office Depot Merger With OfficeMax Wins U.S. Approval
Bloomberg News - By David McLaughlin - Nov 1, 2013 11:54 AM ET

Office Depot Inc. (ODP)’s purchase of OfficeMax Inc. (OMX) won approval from U.S. antitrust regulators, clearing the way for the office-supply companies to create a single retailer to compete with Staples Inc. (SPLS)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission voted to close its seven-month investigation into the merger, saying online retailing ensured competition in the market for office supplies, according to a statement today.

The agency said the market has changed significantly since 1997, when it derailed Staples’s acquisition of Office Depot as anticompetitive.

Consumers today rely on retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and online shopping for office supplies, the commission said.

“The current competitive dynamics are very different,” the FTC said. “The commission’s investigation shows that today’s market for the sale of consumable office supplies is broader.”

Office Depot and OfficeMax, the second and third largest office-supply chains in the U.S., agreed in February to combine in a $1.17 billion deal after losing sales to online rivals and to Staples. They said the merged company would have combined revenue of about $18 billion as of the end of 2012 compared with more than $24 billion in sales for Staples, the largest office-supplies chain.

OfficeMax, based in Naperville, Illinois, rose 3.6 percent to $15.52 at 11:08 a.m. in New York, and Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, Florida, rose 2.9 percent to $5.75. The retailers said in a statement today that they plan to close the merger on Nov. 5.

‘New Beginning’
“This merger represents a new beginning for Office Depot and OfficeMax -- one that will enable us to create a stronger, more efficient” company, Office Depot Chief Executive Officer Neil Austrian said in a statement.

Framingham, Massachusetts-based Staples may benefit from the deal, Fitch Ratings said in a research note Oct. 2. Disruption from the combination should help Staples retain existing contract customers and win new customers from Office Depot and OfficeMax, Fitch said. Any store closures would also reduce excess square footage in the sector, according to the note.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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