Xerox – Deal with Fujifilm cancelled
USA / JAPAN • Xerox Corp abandons a planned USD 6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm Holdings Corp in a settlement with activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason that also hands control of the U.S. photocopier giant to new management – this reported Reuters yesterday.
Reuters further reports, that fhe victory for the billionaire investors puts the Japanese company further on the back foot in any new negotiations with Xerox, although it is by no means out of contention as Xerox is now expected to go up for sale in an auction at a higher price.
Xerox said that it had over several weeks repeatedly asked Fujifilm to immediately start talks about improved terms for a proposed transaction.
The two companies agreed in January to a complex deal that would have merged Xerox into their Asia joint venture Fuji Xerox and given Fujifilm control (read more in this post). That prompted Icahn and Deason, who own 15 percent of Xerox and argued the U.S. firm was being undervalued, to launch a proxy fight.
The activist investors have also said they are unhappy with the current structure of the joint venture, and settlement creates uncertainty concerning potential changes to a business that accounts for nearly half of Fujifilm’s revenue.
Icahn and Deason have said they believe other investors are “waiting in the wings” for Xerox while people familiar with the matter have previously said that buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC has expressed interest in a bid for Xerox.