Office Depot shareholders approve Staples merger

Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP) shareholders voted in favor of a merger with retail rival Staples (NYSE:SPLS). The $6.3 billion dollar deal was approved by 99.5 percent of the shareholders at the annual meeting.

In response to the news, Ron Sargent, chairman and CEO of Staples said, "We're pleased that Office Depot shareholders have overwhelmingly approved this transaction. The combined company will allow us to provide more value to customers and more effectively compete in a rapidly evolving environment."

Staples recently received clearance for the transaction from regulatory agencies in New Zealand and China. It will continue to seek outstanding antitrust clearances from Europe, Canada and Australia, and expects the transaction to be completed by 2016.

If the merger is completed, shareholders will receive $7.25 in cash for each share of Office Depot, plus 0.2188 shares of Staples stock, SunSentinel reported.

Not in favor of the merger, the American Postal Workers Union is set to hold a press conference, saying that the results will create a monopoly and hurt consumers.

The proposed merger was announced back in February. The companies report that the merger will result in $1 billion in cost savings.

In 2013, 98 percent of Office Depot shareholders voted in favor of acquiring OfficeMax, and the merger was approved the following November by the Federal Trade Commission. But back in 1997, Office Depot tried to merge with Staples and was blocked by the FTC.

For more:
-See this SunSentinel article (subscription required)
-See this Staples press release

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