Boise Cascade Buys OfficeMax, Shifts to Office Products

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Paper provider Boise Cascade Corp. announced yesterday the purchase of OfficeMax Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $1.15 billion and said it planned to refocus its business around the office-supply market.

The Boise, ID, company said it had hired Goldman Sachs to help it develop strategic alternatives to its paper and building products businesses. Boise Cascade chairman/CEO George Harad said in a statement that the company expects to "take appropriate steps" to transition the company to office products 12 to 18 months after closing the OfficeMax acquisition.

The acquisition of OfficeMax more than doubles the size of Boise Cascade's office products distribution division, Boise Office Solutions, in terms of sales revenue. Boise Cascade expects to complete the purchase, which is 30 percent cash and 70 percent stock, by the end of the fourth quarter.

Boise Office Solutions, Itasca, IL, with $3.5 billion in annual sales in 2002, operates 63 distribution centers, two outbound sales centers and more than 100 retail stores. OfficeMax, which reported sales of $4.8 billion in 2002, operates nearly 1,000 superstores and markets its products online and via catalogs.

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