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Xerox lawsuit targets CEO Jeff Jacobson

Wednesday, 18 April 2018
By Print21

In the latest legal move aimed at blocking the proposed sale of Xerox to Fujifilm, activist investor Darwin Deason alleges Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson pursued the deal to protect his own job.

Billionaire activist investor Darwin Deason.

Deason has added amendments to his lawsuit against Xerox over the deal and now claims that Jacobson continued negotiations with Fujifilm last year even after the Xerox board had advised him to stop.

Deason and fellow billionaire Carl Icahn – who together control about 15 percent of Xerox stock – are trying to block the $US6.1 billion ($A7.6 billion) deal that would see Fujifilm take over Xerox Corp and combine the US-based company with existing joint venture Fuji Xerox.

Deason filed a second lawsuit in New York last month and has now added a lengthy amendment, alleging Jacobson was seeking to protect his own job over the interests of Xerox investors.

The amended lawsuit says Xerox Corp.’s board told Jacobson in November to stop negotiations with Fujifilm Holdings because it was considering firing him, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The suit alleges Jacobson raced to make a complex deal that would leave him in charge, and cede control of the American icon to the Japanese company.

Xerox chairman Robert Keegan has denied the allegations. “Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson was fully authorized to engage in discussions with Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox on the proposed combination,” Keegan said in the statement.

“Xerox believes Mr. Deason’s litigation distorts many of the facts regarding the proposed combination with Fuji Xerox. Xerox strongly believes that Mr. Deason’s lawsuit is meritless and it will vigorously defend itself in legal proceedings.”

Deason wants to nominate a group new directors to the Xerox board, despite missing a deadline, and Icahn has already nominated four directors.

The proposed Fuji Xerox deal must still be approved by Xerox shareholders. 

One Response to “Xerox lawsuit targets CEO Jeff Jacobson”

  1. April 18, 2018 at 2:19 pm,

    Fairgo
    said:

    If anyone is ultimately responsible for damaging Xerox, if indeed that is what happens; it will be Mr Deason and his wild accusations and avarice for a higher payout. The Fujifilm deal is a lifeline – just as they provided a lifeline in 2001 under Paul Allaire when Xerox was close to Ch11 bankruptcy. No one can blame Deason for wanting more money I guess, but please spare us the pseudo-altruistic babble about ‘saving a great American brand….going forward into Asia..etc etc’ As he concluded in his original co-statement with Mr Ichan; it’s all about getting more than $9.80 a share as a special shareholder bonus when the deal goes through.

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