Office Depot, OfficeMax get FTC request, pick CEO search panel

NEW YORK, April 9 Tue Apr 9, 2013 8:24am EDT

NEW YORK, April 9 (Reuters) - Office Depot Inc and OfficeMax Inc both received a request for additional information from the Federal Trade Commission regarding their proposed merger, they said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The request, which the U.S. office supply retailers said they had expected, extends the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and prevents them from closing the deal until 30 days after they have "substantially complied" with the request, or the waiting period is terminated by the FTC.

The companies said they were optimistic about the regulatory process. They announced the deal on Feb. 20.

Also Tuesday, they said they formed a board committee to search for a chief executive for the combined company. It will consider external candidates as well as Office Depot CEO Neil Austrian and OfficeMax CEO Ravi Saligram.