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Starboard ups efforts to remake Office Depot board

NEW YORK (AP) -- Office Depot's biggest shareholder on Monday stepped up its efforts to replace part of the office products company's board with its own nominees.

Starboard Value LP, which holds a 14.8 percent stake in Office Depot, said it's disappointed with the company's failure to work with it to restructure the board. The investment firm last month proposed a slate of six nominees to the board.

Starboard said that since the company has yet to schedule an annual shareholder meeting, it has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a consent solicitation, which would allow it in the absence of an annual meeting to seek shareholder consent to replace up to four of the board members with its candidates.

Starboard said it might consider foregoing the consent solicitation if the board immediately commits to changes that would add its nominees to the board. Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, Fla., didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.

Starboard has said that it believes a new and better board is needed to help boost the company's operating performance; select a CEO when Office Depot combines with OfficeMax Inc. and contribute the most highly-qualified board members possible to the combined company.

In addition, a new board is needed to make sure that the company is fully prepared to succeed as a stand-alone entity if the deal with Naperville, Ill.-based OfficeMax falls through, the firm said.

Office Depot Inc. shares slipped a penny to $3.79 in morning trading.