Office Depot Inc. ODP -13.15% said Wednesday it agreed to buy OfficeMax Inc.OMX -4.08% in an all-stock deal that values the rival office-supplies retailer at roughly $1.19 billion, although the news came after an early misfire, with the deal being announced prematurely.
The companies called the transaction a “merger of equals” in a joint news release that followed what appeared to be an accidental release from Office Depot earlier Wednesday. Office Depot early Wednesday announced the deal in a news release on its website. However, about an hour later, that news release—which also included Office Depot’s earnings, about a week earlier than expected—was removed from the company’s website. The removal of the news release raised questions about whether the company intended to make the announcement, stirring confusion. An official announcement was made a short time later.