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Office Depot, Office Max Say FTC Clears Their Merger

OfficeMax Inc. and Office Depot, Inc. have announced in a joint statement that the United States Federal Trade Commission has “unconditionally” cleared the companies’ proposed merger of equals. The two retailers anticipate completing the transaction after market close on November 5, subject to the satisfaction of remaining closing conditions.

As disclosed on February 20, Office Depot and OfficeMax entered into a definitive merger agreement that would have produced a company with combined revenue for the 12 months ended June 29, 2013 of approximately $17 billion if instituted last year. The companies asserted that the merger would significantly improve financial strength and flexibility as well as deliver long-term operating performance and improvements through increased competitiveness and cost synergies.

In conjunction with the closing, Office Depot and OfficeMax intend to provide additional details related to the transaction and the operations of the combined company, the retailers noted.

“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,” said Neil Austrian, Office Depot chairman and CEO, in announcing the transaction close. “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. We remain confident that the transaction will benefit our customers and shareholders for years to come, and will provide exciting new opportunities for associates as part of a global business.”

Ravi Saligram, OfficeMax president and CEO, said, “We are very pleased to receive FTC clearance, which positions us to consummate this much-anticipated and transformative merger. We are excited about the significant progress we have made in our integration planning and to see the expertise and collaboration demonstrated by integration team members of both companies. Objective decisions aimed at identifying the best systems and processes for the combined company continue to be made at an appropriate pace. OfficeMax and Office Depot share a similar vision for the future, and will greatly benefit from drawing on the industry’s most talented people and combining our best practices. Our goal remains to ensure a smooth transition for all of our stakeholders and to begin capturing cost synergies as soon as possible after closing.”