Shares of ODP Corp. were indicated up more than 2% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the office supply retailer announced plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies. The separation is expected to occur through a distribution of shares of the new company (NewCo) as a tax-free dividend to ODP shareholders, with ODP shareholders owning 100% of both companies. The record date of the dividend has not yet been determined. After the separation, ODP will have about 1,100 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations, and NewCo will provide business-to-business services, including ODP’s Business Solutions Division contract business, Grant & Toy and ODP’s regional office supply distribution businesses. “We believe creating two focused, pure-play companies will unlock significant opportunities by improving our ability to meet the needs of our customers, while better matching assets and investment profiles of both companies to generate greater value for our shareholders,” said Chief Executive Gerry Smith. The stock has run up 45.0% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.9%.
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