10 May 2007 — Naperville (IL): Analyst speculation regarding a takeover of OfficeMax had boosted the retailer’s shares by almost eight percent.
Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter has suggested that "the time might be ripe for acquisitions in several hardline retail sectors," according to the AP newswire.
Balter believes an acquisition of OfficeMax by its rivals Office Depot or Staples could help cut infrastructure and purchasing costs and speculated that such a takeover could already have been considered.
Balter said: "Office Depot management has commented on ‘maintaining balance sheet flexibility,’ while OfficeMax has taken what we view as an overly pessimistic view of its own business leading to a sharp sell of its shares."
He added: "We have already seen consolidation in the most mature segments of retailing, including supermarkets and department stores, and we believe that we are on the verge of this spreading to at least three hardlines sub-sectors: office products, automotive products and bookstores."