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Fujifilm to sue as Xerox launches auction

Wednesday, 23 May 2018
By Print21
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Fujifilm Holdings is planning to sue Xerox Corp “as soon as possible” over its failed $6.1 billion merger deal, as the new board at Xerox launches an auction process looking for a better deal elsewhere.

‘We don’t need to be in a rush to close this deal’: Fujifilm COO Kenji Sukeno.

 “We are currently in talks with lawyers on the schedule for filing the lawsuit and plan to go to court as soon as possible,” said Fujifilm COO Kenji Sukeno.

Fujifilm intends to argue that Xerox had no legal right to terminate the deal.

Sukeno said if the new Xerox board made any new proposals, Fujifilm “would consider them only when they benefit Fujifilm shareholders. We don’t need to be in a rush to close this deal. We are not bound by time.”

Xerox Corp last week called off the agreement with the Japanese company and signed a new settlement with activist shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who had sued to block the Fujifilm deal. The new settlement saw Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson and five other directors resign.

The new board, headed by new CEO John Visentin – an ally of Icahn – is now preparing a prospectus for an auction process that could take 90-120 days, according to Deason. Private investment firms including Apollo have already expressed interest in the iconic US company.

“It’s like a big mystery novel’: billionaire investor Darwin Deason.

Deason told Bloomberg TV that Visentin was going to immediately start the auction for Xerox “to make sure anyone who has any interest in buying this company has the opportunity to look at it and has a fair opportunity to look at it — including Fuji.

“We did not come into this to run Xerox,” he said. “We’re gonna market this company as best we can.” 

Deason, who has worked on 300 deals over his career, said the Xerox-Fujifilm saga was unlike any other. “Crown jewel lockups, conflict, international intrigue…it’s like a big mystery novel.”

Fujifilm owns 75% of Fuji Xerox, the joint venture launched more than 50 years ago. Under the original deal announced in February, Fujifilm said it planned to cut 10,000 jobs at Fuji Xerox in the Asia Pacific region by March 2020.

 

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