BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Boise Cascade plans to sell its paper, forest products and timberland assets to a private investment group for about $3.2 billion so it can focus on worldwide distribution of office products.

The Idaho-based company said Monday that the cash sale to a new company formed by Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, a Chicago investment firm, should be completed by November.

The new company will be privately held and named Boise Cascade LLC. It will be based in Boise and will keep most of the employees who worked for the old company.

Meanwhile, the company selling the assets will change its name to OfficeMax, the name of the office products seller it bought late last year for $1.2 billion in cash and stock. It will be based in Itasca, Ill., outside Chicago, where Boise Cascade’s own office products division had been and the OfficeMax headquarters was shifted.

OfficeMax is the third largest U.S. office products retailer, behind Office Depot and Staples.

The spinoff and name change marks the completion of the review of the company’s future launched with the OfficeMax purchase, Boise Cascade chairman George Harad said Monday.

“The transaction we are announcing today will complete Boise’s transformation, begun in the mid-1990s, from a predominantly manufacturing-based company to a world-scale distribution company,” Harad said. “In the process, we will realize significant value for shareholders.”

The deal must still be approved by regulators.

Boise said it will realize about $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion in cash proceeds from the deal, after a $175 million reinvestment in Boise Cascade LLC and spending between $250 million to $300 million in outstanding debt to reduce debt in the new OfficeMax.

The company sold its paper mill in Rumford, Maine, in 1996, to Mead paper company.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.