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updated: 3/18/2013 1:36 PM

Office Depot's biggest holder nominates 6 to board

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Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Office Depot's biggest shareholder is nominating six people for the office products company's board. Boca Raton, Fla.-based Office Depot and Naperville-based OfficeMax announced an agreement last month to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion.

Shares of Office Depot rose 4 percent in premarket trading on Monday.

Investment firm Starboard Value LP said that it sent a letter to Office Depot's board. In the letter, Starboard said that it believes and "new and improved" board is needed at the chain to help improve its operating performance; select a CEO when Office Depot combines with OfficeMax Inc. and contribute the most highly-qualified board members possible to the combined company.

Starboard said that if Office Depot doesn't not immediately talk with them about making board changes, then it should schedule its annual shareholders meeting for a date prior to when the OfficeMax deal is expected to close so that Office Depot shareholders can pick who they want to represent them during these activities.

Starboard has a 14.8 percent ownership stake in Office Depot Inc. Its board nominees include: Orchard Brands CEO James P. Fogarty; Tractor Supply Co. board member Cynthia T. Jamison; XLR-8 founder and CEO Robert L. Nardelli; Frontier Airlines President and CEO David N. Siegel; Starboard's co-founder, Chief Investment Officer and CEO Jeffrey C. Smith and Joseph S. Vassalluzzo, who is a director on a number of public company boards, including Federal Realty Investment Trust, Life Time Fitness and chairman of iParty Corp.

Office Depot's stock added 16 cents to $4.17 before the market open. Shares of OfficeMax rose 37 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $12.14.

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