Hedge Fund Starboard Value LP plans to launch a formal proxy war to place four of its nominees on the board of Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP).
The activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP’s slate of four directors includes former The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) and Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli and the hedge fund’s own Jeffrey Smith. The hedge fund indicated that it intends to file its proxy materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission shortly.
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Earlier, Starboard Value LP, an activist hedge fund, nominated six candidates to the board of directors of Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP) revealing that it is significant for the company to reconstitute itself now whether it intends to continue as a standalone company or to merge its business with OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX).
Starboard Value LP is now scaling back its earlier effort to unseat six of the company’s directors.
Office Depot to Schedule Annual Meeting in August
The hedge fund announced in a statement today that it is pleased that the Delaware Chancery Court has ordered Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) to hold its 2013 Annual Meeting on August 21, 2013.
The hedge fund had been pressing Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) for several months to schedule its 2013 annual meeting and commenced a consent solicitation to remove several existing directors in favor of Starboard’s nominees when it became apparent the company would continue to indefinitely delay holding its annual election of directors.
The hedge fund took the unusual step earlier this month of suing Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) for not scheduling the meeting. Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) eventually set the August date and said a Delaware court also confirmed the plan. Starboard and Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) are disputing the timing of the scheduling and merits of the litigation.
Starboard in Favor of OfficeMax Merger
Starboard Value LP indicated is in favor of the OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX) merger. However, the hedge fund continues to strongly believe that the Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) board must be significantly enhanced now with new, highly-qualified directors.
Earlier, Office Depot, Inc (NYSE:ODP) announced its intention to acquire its rival OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX) by the end of the year.
The hedge fund has said it will remain the largest holder in the combined Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) and OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX), and that it wants the best Office Depot representation on the board of the combined company.