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Last updated: February 21. 2013 11:39AM - 351 Views

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NEW YORK — Office Depot and OfficeMax are being collated.


The retailers said Wednesday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion that would transform the office-supply retail sector by helping the No. 2 and No. 3 chains compete against industry behemoth Staples.


The merger marks the first move toward consolidation in an industry that is bloated with stores. It reflects the changing retail landscape as “big box” stores have become outmoded and more people shop online.


“This combination will create a stronger, more global, efficient competitor able to meet the growing challenges of our rapidly changing industry,” said OfficeMax CEO Ravi Saligram in a call with analysts.


Still, doubts remain whether the combination, which has been mulled over in the industry for years, is enough to offset growing competition and a changing retail landscape.


In the deal, Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, Fla., and Naperville, Ill.-based OfficeMax said 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 $5.02 per share closing price Tuesday, giving the deal a total value of about $1.2 billion.


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