NEW YORK -- Office Depot and Naperville-based OfficeMax on Tuesday said they have formed a CEO search committee and received a request for more information from the Federal Trade Communication about their planned merger.
The two office-supply chains said in February they planned to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion, but key details, such as the name of the new company, CEO and headquarters, have yet to be determined. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, the companies said those details will be decided when a new board of directors is formed, and take into consideration the recommendation of the CEO once he or she is appointed.
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The companies named the committee that will select the CEO. Dunkin' Donuts CEO Nigel Travis, an Office Depot board member, and Jim Marino, former CEO of Alberto Culver Co. and OfficeMax board member, will co-chair.
The CEOs of the both office supply chains will both be considered, along with external candidates
Another committee will oversee the integration planning process. Office Depot CEO Neil Austrian and OfficeMax CEO Ravi Saligram will lead this effort, with OfficeMax CFO Bruce Besanko and Office Depot CFO Mike Newman co-chairing it.
The FTC request for more information will extend the antitrust waiting period at least 30 days, until the companies have given the agency the details sought.
That is notable because the FTC blocked Staples Inc.'s attempt to buy Office Depot in 1997. But the Office Depot and OfficeMax have said that the competitive landscape has changed so much since 1997 they don't believe their deal will be blocked by the FTC.
The companies said the request for more information was expected and they remain "optimistic" about clearing regulatory hurdles.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.
OfficeMax Inc. shares closed Monday trading at $11.35, up 16 percent since the start of the year. Office Depot Inc. shares ended at $3.83, up nearly 17 percent in 2013.