Staples Inc., Framingham, Mass., today said it will buy Office Depot, Delray Beach, Fla., for $3.49 billion in stock. The new company, Staples/Office Depot, will have more than 1,100 office supply stores in the U.S. and Canada. David Fuentes, head of Office Depot, will be chairman of the new company. Martin Hanaka, president-chief operating officer of Staples, will retain that title. Staples' ad agency is Cliff Freeman
& Partners, New York; Office Depot is at J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago. Not known yet is which agency will handle the combined account, though ad headquarters will remain in Framingham.