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Icahn boosts team to fight Xerox deal

Wednesday, 21 March 2018
By Print21

Billionaire activist shareholder Carl Icahn has enlisted the help of former HP and IBM executive John Visentin to help fight the “no sense” takeover of Xerox by Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings.

In an open letter to Xerox shareholders, Icahn says he’s pleased to announce that Visentin has been engaged as a consultant both in connection with the upcoming proxy contests and to explore strategic alternatives for Xerox.

‘A superb track record’: former HP and IBM executive John Visentin.

We believe John has the ideal skill set to help us show shareholders why the proposed Fuji scheme makes no sense and how there is tremendous value potential in a stand-alone Xerox with new management. John will be intimately involved in our outreach over the next few weeks and months as we, together with Darwin Deason and his team, explain our strategy to maximize shareholder value at Xerox.

Visentin previously managed multi-billion-dollar businesses as a senior executive at Hewlett-Packard and IBM and drove successful transformations for Apollo Global Management companies, Novitex Enterprises Solutions (as executive Chairman and CEO, following the acquisition of Pitney Bowes Management Service) and Presidio (as chairman).

John is a highly-in-demand operating executive with a superb track record, specifically when it comes to revamping complex operations with prior managerial shortcomings in the IT services industry to consistently drive profitable growth, Icahn told Xerox shareholders.

Icahn and fellow billionaire Darwin Deason control about 15% of Xerox stock and are working together to fight 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.

Xerox has defended the deal, saying the new Fuji Xerox will combine two leaders with world-class technological capabilities and cultures of innovation and “deliver significantly more value to Xerox shareholders than moving the company forward on a stand-alone basis.”

When the agreement was announced in January, Fujifilm said it planned to cut 10,000 Fuji Xerox jobs in Asia Pacific by March 2020.

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