Office Depot, Inc. announced its plans to take over Naperville-based Office Max on February 20, according to this article from the Chicago Sun-Times. The deal still has to go through shareholder and regulatory approvals, which means the deal is not sealed yet since office supply mergers have been questioned by regulators in the past. The news was released earlier than planned by accident, but it shouldn’t cause problems unless the deal falls through.
Currently, the office supply sector is worth about $21.2 billion, but has been steadily decreasing as more people shop online with companies like Amazon.com or at discounters like Costco. Although it was founded in the 1980s and helped pioneer the big-box boom of the 90s, this sector has had a tough time rebounding in recent years.
In 1997, Staples Inc. attempted to buy Office Depot but the deal was nixed by the Federal Trade Commission due to concerns that the combined company would have too much of a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Having the No. 2 and No. 3 office-supply chains merge, No. 1 Staples, Inc. may benefit, since the merger will likely result in closing multiple stores.
Holders of OfficeMax shares will receive 2.69 shares of Office Depot for every OfficeMax share they own. That’s equal to about $13.50 per share (based on Office Depot’s recent $5.02 per share closing price) giving the deal a total value of about $1.2 billion.
This merger is hopefully a way to stay ahead of companies going bankrupt, but others may not be so lucky. Bankruptcy can occur at any time for any number of reasons. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you work through the process. Contact our Cook County law firm to speak to an attorney today.
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