Office Depot’s shareholders Friday overwhelmingly approved a possible $6.3 billion merger with office-supplies retailer rival Staples Inc.
Less popular was the deal for Office Depot’s top executives, who are slated to received $85 million in change-in-control payouts, including $47 million for CEO Roland Smith. Smith has been at the helm less than two years.
The Federal Trade Commission, which nixed a merger between the rivals in 1997, must still approve the deal.
The 99.5% yes vote on this merger from Office Depot’s shareholders is no surprise, considering they’ll be able to pocket $7 a share and have stock in a merged company. But shareholders did register some disapproval of the so-called “golden parachute” floated for Office Depot’s top brass, approving that with only 54%, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The American Postal Workers Union has protested the merger on antitrust grounds. Though the deal is widely seen as having a better chance than last time to be approved because so much has changed in the office supplies retail landscape, it’s far from a slam dunk.