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Office Depot, OfficeMax Shares Soar on Merger Chatter

Shares of rival office supply chains Office Depot and OfficeMax soared in premarket trading Tuesday following widespread reports that the two companies are in merger talks.

OfficeMax  shares rallied 20%, while shares of Office Depot, the larger of the two, surged 27%.

Office Depot has 1,262 stores worldwide, though only 131 of those are outside the United States. It has 39,000 employees, and 2011 sales of $11.5 billion, the last full year for which it has reported results.

Office Max has 978 stores, 29,000 employees and 2011 sales of $7.1 billion.

The talks come as mergers and acquisitions have picked up. Just last week, US Airways  announced a merger with American Airlines parent AMR, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway  announced it was buying ketchup maker Heinz, and Comcast  announced a $16.7 billion deal for the 49% of NBC Universal that was still owned by General Electric.

Both Office Depot and OfficeMax are dwarfed by Staples, which operates 2,248 stores worldwide and had 2011 sales of $25 billion. Staples has also face increased competition from online retailers, such as Amazon. Staples shares were also up nearly 13% in premarket trading.

The merger talks were widely reported Monday, when U.S. markets were closed for a holiday.

 

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Posted by on February 19, 2013. Filed under Business News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.