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Office Depot, OfficeMax shareholders OK merger


New York -- Office Depot and OfficeMax Inc. on Tuesday moved one step closer to consolidation as their shareholders voted to approve the merger between the two office supply rivals.

“Our Office Depot shareholders today endorsed our collective efforts to create a combined company that will be a world-class provider of office products, services and solutions, with significantly improved financial strength and the ability to deliver better long-term operating performance,” said Neil Austrian, chairman and CEO of Office Depot, Boca Raton, Fla. “Our two companies remain optimistic that the closing will occur by the end of the calendar year 2013, subject to the receipt of regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions; and we continue to work cooperatively with the FTC as it conducts its review of the proposed combination.”

Ravi Saligram, president and CEO of OfficeMax, Naperville, Ill., commented: “This is an important and historic milestone in bringing our two great companies together. With integration planning now well underway, we believe more than ever that the combined company will create a stronger, more innovative and efficient global provider better able to compete in today’s rapidly changing office solutions industry, creating long-term value and opportunity for our customers, our stockholders and our employees.”

In late February, the two retailers said they planned to merge in a $1.2 billion all-stock deal that would help the No. 2 and No. 3 chains compete against industry leader Staples. They have yet to announce a headquarters location, leader and name for the proposed combined company.

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