The latest with OfficeMax and staying in Illinois

Oct 9, 2013

Soon after OfficeMax and Office Depot announced their intention to merge earlier this year, one of the biggest questions was where the company would be based. OfficeMax has about 2,000 employees at its headquarters in Naperville, in the Chicago suburbs. Office Depot is based in Florida.  IPR’s Brian Mackey has an update on where things stand.

 In order to entice the as-yet unnamed office retailer to stay in Illinois, state Sen. Tom Cullerton is pushing for tax breaks. But he says first, they need to pick a new CEO.

 "More than likely, that CEO will have some input as to where they're going to be based as well. So essentially we're in a small holding pattern."

 The companies have a shortlist of candidates, and had hoped to name someone by September. That did not happen. It remains to be seen whether anyone would even take the job before the merger wins Federal Trade Commission approval. That process has ground to a halt.

 "We are out of the office due to the government shutdown. We are unable to respond to your voicemail until the government is funded, resumes operations, and we return to the office." The companies had hoped to merge by the end of the year. But the Illinois General Assembly is only scheduled to be in session for two weeks before then. And Gov. Pat Quinn says he won't consider any corporate tax breaks until lawmakers approve a pension overhaul. All of that doesn't leave much time to make a deal.