News Column

OfficeMax, Office Depot Form CEO Search Panel

April 9, 2013
OfficeMax and Office Depot

OfficeMax Inc. and Office Depot Inc. said Tuesday that they have appointed three board members from each company to a committee that will determine who will lead the combined company when their merger is finalized later this year.

Board members of the Naperville-based OfficeMax named to the selection committee include Rakesh Gagwal, non-executive chairman of the board, director Francesca Ruiz de Luzuriaga and Jim Marino, former president and CEO of Alberto Culver Company, who will co-chair the committee with Office Depot board member Nigel Travis, CEO of Dunkin Donuts. Travis will be joined by fellow Office Depot Board members Tom Colligan and Marty Evans.

Ravi Saligram, CEO of OfficeMax Inc. and Neil Austrian, CEO of Boca Raton, Fl.-based Office Depot Inc. will be considered for the top spot along with external candidates, the companies said in a statement. They weren't specific about when the decision would be made, only that it will be done before the merger deal closes.

OfficeMax and Office Depot also announced key executives from both firms who will lead the integration process as the company's merge. Those executives include Bruce Besanko, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer and Office Depot's CFO, Mike Newman, who will co-chair the effort.

In February, the companies said they planned to merge in an all-stock deal which calls for Office Depot to issue 2.69 new shares of common stock for each outstanding common share of OfficeMax. At the time of the announcement, major details such as the combined companies' name, headquarters and who will lead it, had not been determined.

The companies said in a joint statement Tuesday they received a request for additional information from the Federal Trade Commission regarding their proposed merger.

The request, which the U.S. office supply retailers said they had expected, extends the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and prevents them from closing the deal until 30 days after they have "substantially complied" with the request, or the waiting period is terminated by the FTC.

The companies said they were optimistic about the regulatory process.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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(c)2013 Chicago Tribune

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