Boise Wraps $1.3B Purchase of OfficeMax

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Paper maker Boise Cascade Corp. said yesterday that it completed the acquisition of office products retailer OfficeMax Inc. for $1.3 billion.


The purchase will bolster Boise's position in a hotly contested office supplies market with multichannel players like Office Depot and Staples.


The Boise, ID-based company said 76.77 percent of its shareholders approved the acquisition. More than 99 percent of shareholders of OfficeMax, the nation's third-largest office products retailer, approved the deal, the Associated Press said.


As a result, Boise Office Solutions -- a multinational distributor of office supplies and paper, technology products and office furniture -- will use its own name in the contract segment but switch to OfficeMax in the retail end of the market. The Boise Office Solutions name will fade away over time, the company said.


OfficeMax shares were delisted yesterday.


With this acquisition, the Boise Office Solutions unit more than doubles its size to pro forma 2002 sales of $8.3 billion, excluding certain expenses and gains from earnings.


Boise Office Solutions also produces the Reliable Office Supplies catalog. It is not known how Reliable and OfficeMax, which has 1,000 retail stores plus Web and catalog operations, will be integrated.


The OfficeMax purchase is also expected to produce cost savings of $160 million this year, $100 million next year, $150 million in 2005 and $160 million in 2006.


The combined office products division will move to Itasca, IL, the headquarters of Boise Office Solutions.


Chris Milliken is division president/CEO reporting to George Harad, chairman/CEO of Boise Cascade. Gary Peterson, former president and chief operating officer of OfficeMax, will become president of retail operations. He will report to Milliken from OfficeMax's old Shaker Heights, OH, headquarters.


Boise Cascade announced its merger with OfficeMax in July. At the time the estimated value of the merger was $1.15 billion.


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