Office Depot, OfficeMax Get FTC Request, Form CEO Search Committee

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a second request to Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) and OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX) in connection with the proposed merger of the companies.

Office Depot, OfficeMax Get FTC Request, Form CEO Search Committee

Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976,  the waiting will be extended and the transaction will not be completed until 30 days after Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) and OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX) complies with the  all the information required by the FTC in the second request.

The companies said they would respond promptly to FTC’s second request and expressed optimism regarding the regulatory process.

Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) and OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX) also announced the formation of a search committee that will be responsible in supervising the process for the selection of a CEO and executives for the combined company.

The co-chairman of the search committee are Office Depot Board Member Nigel Travis, CEO of Dunkin Donuts, and OfficeMax Board Member Jim Marino, former President and CEO of Alberto Culver Company. The other members of the committee include Office Depot directors Tom Colligan and Marty Evans, OfficeMax directors Francisca Ruiz de Luxuriaga and its non-executive chairman Rakesh Gangwal.

According to the companies, the search committee will consider the current CEO and chairman of Office Depot, Neil Austrian and OfficeMax president and CEO, Ravi Saligram in the selection process as well as external candidates. The committee aims to select a CEO prior to the completion of the merger.

Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) and OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX) also announced that Austrian and Saligram will supervise and sponsor the integration planning process for the combined company. They will work with other executives from both companies to ensure a smooth and productive transition and achieve the target $400 million to $600 million annual cost synergies for the year after the closing of the deal.

In a statement, Saligram said, “The formation of the CEO selection committee and launch of our integration planning process represent important steps forward in achieving our vision of an $18 billion global office solutions company.”

“By bringing together several of our top executives and Board members to focus on the process of integrating our two great companies, we will build on our culture of collaboration as we move closer to successfully closing the transaction and better competing in this large and rapidly changing industry,” said Austrian.

Meanwhile, Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) submitted a Form S-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission including a prospectus and a joint proxy statement from both companies. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2013.

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