Xerox pulls Fujifilm deal

Xerox pulls Fujifilm deal
Fujifilm says no to more money, Xerox out, CEO Jacobson resigns

The biggest print industry merger of the year is off – although in this story it may be all on again tomorrow – as Xerox has pulled out of the proposed deal to be bought by Fujifilm for US$6.1bn

In the latest and possible final twist to the Xerox sale saga the big red asked Fujifilm for more money to buy 50.1 per cent of the business, Fujifilm said no, so Xerox has scuppered the deal.

Fuji Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson has gone, resigning from both the position and the Board, with John Visentin replacing him. The Board itself has five new members. 

The Fujifilm deal has been the subject of a gigantic battle between the Xerox Board and two billionaire investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason. Under the proposed deal Xerox woold merge with Fuji Xerox and Fujifilm would take a controlling interest in the whole business.

Visentin has been appointed as Xerox CEO twice before, once in December last year, only for the Board to change its mind, and then last week as Jacobson and the Board were dismissed, but following their reinstatement a day later Visentin was again left out the sidelines. This time though it looks like he will get the keys. He is a senior exec at wealth management fund Apollo, which is itself reportedly looking at buying Xerox.

Xerox is also entering a settlement deal with investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, the two billionaire investors who have faced down the Board over the deal.

[Related: Fujifilm swallows Xerox in US$1.6bn deal]

The two companies had announced earlier this year that Fuji Xerox, their 56-year-old joint venture, would combine with Xerox, with Fujifilm Holdings taking a 50.1 percent stake in the newly formed company, New Fuji Xerox. The deal was meant to be part of a restructuring that, along with other reforms, would save the companies an estimated $1.7bn a year by 2022.

But Xerox have now terminated the because of Fujifilm's failure to enter into negotiations on improved terms over the $6.1bn offer.

"Over the past several weeks, the Xerox Board has repeatedly requested that Fujifilm immediately enter into negotiations on improved terms for a proposed transaction. Despite our insistence, Fujifilm provided no assurance that it will do so within an acceptable timeframe," Xerox's former board said in a statement.

Icahn and Deason had opposed Fujifilm's takeover, arguing it undervalued Xerox, and had called for Jacobson's resignation. Both praised Xerox's decision to pull out of the deal.

"We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm," Icahn said in a statement.

 

Deason said, "Xerox is now positioned to conduct a true, robust strategic alternatives process."

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