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OfficeMax, Office Depot name CEO search committee

New York -- OfficeMax and Office Depot on Tuesday announced they have formed a search committee to select a CEO for the combined company. They also said they have received a request for more information from the Federal Trade Communication about their planned merger.

The selection committee will be co-chaired by Office Depot board member Nigel Travis, CEO of Dunkin Donuts, and OfficeMax board member Jim Marino, former president and CEO of Alberto Culver Company. The other members are Office Depot directors Tom Colligan and Marty Evans; Rakesh Gangwal, non-executive chairman of the board of OfficeMax; and OfficeMax director Francesca Ruiz de Luzuriaga.

The committee will oversee a comprehensive search process that will consider both incumbent CEOs – Office Depot’s Neil Austrian and OfficeMax’s Ravi Saligram – as well as external candidates.  
   
The two chains said in February they planned to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion, but many details, including the name of the combined entity and the location of its headquarters, have yet to be determined. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, the retailers said those details will be decided when a new board of directors is formed, and take into consideration the recommendation of the CEO once he or she is appointed.

The two companies also announced the members of a committee that will oversee the integration planning process. Office Depot CEO Austrian and OfficeMax CEO Saligram will lead this effort. OfficeMax CFO Bruce Besanko and Office Depot CFO Mike Newman will serve as co-chairs.

The FTC request for more information will extend the antitrust waiting period at least 30 days, until the companies have given the agency the details sought.

The companies said the request for more information was expected and they remain "optimistic" about clearing regulatory hurdles.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.