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Expect leaner inventory of supply stores after Office Depot, OfficeMax merger

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A merger between Florida-based Office Depot Inc. and its smaller Illinois-based rival OfficeMax will likely leave Minnesota with fewer office-supply retail choices, Finance & Commerce reports. Store closings are expected in the wake of the transaction, but how many and where remains unclear.

Wall Street Journal says the two office supply giants confirmed plans on Wednesday to join forces in an all-stock deal worth $1.2 billion.
Office Max has forty stores across the state, including more than two-dozen in the Twin Cities metro, while Office Depot has eight locations. The national leader in that category -- Staples -- has only seven Minnesota stores.

"Combining our two companies will enhance our ability to serve customers around the world, offer new opportunities for our employees, make us a more attractive partner to our vendors, and increase stockholder value,” said Neil Austrian, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Office Depot, in a news release. “Office Depot and OfficeMax share a similar vision and culture, and will greatly benefit from drawing on the industry’s most talented people, combining our best practices and realizing significant savings. We are confident that this merger of equals represents a new beginning for our two companies and will allow us to build a more competitive enterprise for the long term.”

“We are excited to bring together two companies intent on accelerating innovation for our customers and better differentiating us for success in a dynamic and highly competitive global industry,” added Ravi Saligram, President and CEO of OfficeMax. “We are confident that there will be exciting new opportunities for employees as part of a truly global business. Together, we will have the opportunity to build on our strong digital platforms and to expand our multichannel capabilities to better serve our customers and to compete more effectively. Importantly, this merger of equals transaction will provide stockholders of both companies with a compelling opportunity to participate in the long-term upside potential of the combined company.”

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