Shareholders at Office Depot Approve Deal with Staples

Shareholders with Office Depot overwhelmingly approved a proposal for competitor Staples to acquire the company, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

The shareholders vote was in favor of the company’s acquisition during the annual meeting, according to the vote count. The final vote count is expected to be released on June 22 in a regulatory filing.

In the agreement made between the two companies, Office Depot shareholders will get cash of $7.25 per share and 0.2188 of a share of Staples stock for each share of Office Depot owned. This transaction should close before the end of this year.

Shares of Office Depot were up by 26 cents or 2.85% in trading before the market opened on Friday. The deal between Office Depot and Staples was recently cleared by the New Zealand and Chinese governments.

Before this deal can be close however, Office Depot and Staples will still have to get the approval of the Florida Trade Commission as well as from Canada, Australia, Europe and the U.S., which is where the two companies would be doing business.

Staples announced on February 4, that it was acquiring Office Depot. The deal pushed forward by Starboard Value LP an activist investor, which will own approximately 16% of the new combined entity if all regulators approve the merger.

Staples said its current headquarters would remain, which is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, following the close of the deal, leaving the future of Office Depot’s headquarters, located in Boca Raton not clear.

The acquisition does have its opponents. The American Postal Workers Union has asked the federal antitrust regulators to block the buyout by Staples because the new combined company would without a doubt raise the prices of products.

The APWU was expected to have a response sometime on Friday to the outcome of the vote by Office Depot shareholders today.