The Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter, says the two business supplies superstores are talking about joining forces to fight off long-time competitors Staples, Inc. (NYSE:SPLS) and Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasadaq:AMZN).
While specific details were not disclosed, a merger deal could potentially save the two struggling companies, which in recent years have lost market share to online rivals.
Delray Beahc, Fla.-based Office Depot claims 1,675 stores worldwide, with annual sales estimated at $11.5 billion and about 39,000 employees, while Naperville, Ill.-based OfficeMax operates approximately 900 stores in the U.S. and Mexico, has about $7 billion in annual sales and is responsible for 29,000 employees.
A merger would give the companies options to cut costs by closing some stores and trimming their payroll, the WSJ reports.
Representatives from both companies told the WSJ that they do not comment on rumors or speculation.
OfficeMax’s stock was down 14 cents to $10.75 in late afternoon trading. Office Depot shares rose 2 percent to $4.59.