Posts Tagged ‘Fuji Xerox’

  • Fuji Xerox wins $32m government contract

    Fuji Xerox Australia headquarters in Sydney.

    Fuji Xerox Australia has signed a $32.67 million contract with the Department of Human Services for the upgrade of office printers, including scanning and photocopying functions as well as supplies and accessories.

    The contract win is a welcome boost for the local Fuji Xerox subsidiary as it awaits the outcome of the protracted legal battle between parent companies Fujifilm Holdings and Xerox Corp over the termination of a proposed $6.1 billion merger proposal.

    The three-year deal, published this week on the Federal Government’s AusTender site, runs from 30 May 2018 until 29 May 2021. It was was awarded under the Major Office Machines (MOMs) panel after a competitive tender process and is a renewal of a previous contract awarded to FXA.

    “The department chose Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd as their proposal represented the best value for money option,” said Hank Jongen, general manager, Department of Human Services.

    The MOMs panel was set up by the government in 2016 to provide more competitive purchase, lease and maintenance costs for all Government departments and agencies.

    The four providers on the MOMs panel are Fuji Xerox Australia, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Kyocera Document Solutions and Ricoh Australia.

  • Xerox ‘moving forward’ into Australia/NZ

    Xerox Corp has slammed a $1 billion lawsuit filed by Fujifilm over their failed merger bid as “desperate” and announced plans to sell Xerox products directly into the growing Asia Pacific market.

    In a letter to Fujifilm chairman Shigetaka Komori, new Xerox CEO John Visentin said litigation filed in New York last week by Fujifilm against Xerox was “nothing more than a desperate, misguided negotiating ploy” to save the takeover proposal.

    “Enormous opportunity”: John Visentin, CEO Xerox Corp.

    Visentin pointed to a $450 million accounting scandal at Fuji Xerox subsidiaries in New Zealand and Australia as evidence of the Japanese company’s mismanagement.

    “No matter what you tell the Japanese media, it is abundantly clear that the bad actor here is Fujifilm, not Xerox. Fujifilm, as 75% owner and controlling partner of Fuji Xerox, has concealed from Xerox the true extent of a massive and ongoing accounting fraud at Fuji Xerox caused by Fujifilm’s own gross mismanagement.” 

    Visentin says Fujifilm’s expectation that Xerox will come to Fujifilm with a new proposal for a combination transaction “is simply delusional. It will not happen.”

    The Xerox CEO says the iconic US company is now focused on moving forward alone on several fronts in the Asia-Pacific region to protect its supply chain.

    “First, we will start, in a material way, to source products from new vendors. Second, we will build partnerships with companies that are aligned with the Xerox mission to provide world-class technology and solutions. Third, we currently believe Xerox will be much better served by not renewing our Technology Agreement with Fuji Xerox when it expires. We will detail for our shareholders the enormous opportunity for Xerox to sell products directly into the growing Asia-Pacific market with sole and exclusive use of the valuable Xerox name, and a more efficient, better managed supply chain than exists with Fuji Xerox today.”

    Xerox says it is moving to begin sourcing product from suppliers other than Fuji Xerox and dismissed suggestions by Fujifilm executives that Xerox was unlikely to survive on its own in a shrinking global office equipment market.

    “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Visentin said. “In fact, it is actually Fuji Xerox, which is responsible for nearly half of Fujifilm’s total revenue, that could potentially suffer ruinous consequences from the loss of over $1 billion of revenue from Xerox, its single largest customer. And legally, there is nothing Fujifilm can do to stop that from happening. The New York State Supreme Court has already enjoined Fujifilm from taking any action toward consummating the ill-advised takeover, and it follows that no court would allow Fuji Xerox to take adverse, punitive actions toward Xerox’s supply chain as we begin sourcing away from Fuji Xerox, which we are clearly permitted to do.”

    In response, Fujifilm issued a statement dismissing Xerox’s plan. “It is again no surprise to hear Xerox’s pretense to sell its products directly into the growing Asia-Pacific market. However, realistically speaking, we believe that it would be extremely difficult for Xerox – which does not currently possess any marketing channel in Asia – to build its own channel from scratch.”

  • Fujifilm sues Xerox for $1bn+

    Fuji Xerox headquarters in Japan.

    Fujifilm Holdings has sued Xerox Corp for more than $1 billion over the termination of a proposed merger deal between the two companies.

    In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Fujifilm accused Xerox of “intentional and egregious conduct” in walking away from the $6.1 billion merger, according to a report by Reuters.

    In January, Xerox and Fujifilm agreed to a deal that would merge Xerox into their 56-year-old joint venture Fuji Xerox, which Fujifilm would control with a 50.1 percent stake.

    But after legal action by Xerox activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who said the deal undervalued the company, a new board at Xerox terminated the deal. Icahn and Deason, who together own about 15 percent of Xerox, said they would consider a cash bid of $40 per share.

    “It is inconsistent with shareholder democracy to allow Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, minority shareholders with only 15 percent of Xerox’s shares, to dictate the fate of Xerox,” Fujifilm said in a statement. “Xerox has recently been subject to the whims of activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who, notwithstanding their minority ownership of Xerox shares, have yanked the Xerox Board in more directions than can be counted.”

    The lawsuit seeks punitive damages and a $183 million merger termination fee. Fujifilm has also appealed a temporary injunction granted by a New York state judge to block the merger.

    In a statement earlier this week, Xerox said it was “extremely confident” that it had a contractual right to back out of the deal.

  • Iridesse is in ‘a class of its own’: Pettaras

    Theo Pettaras, Digitalpress, with the Fuji Xerox Iridesse.

    Sydney’s Digitalpress has long been at the forefront of digital printing innovation. Now, with the addition of the new Fuji Xerox Iridesse press, the bespoke printing house and its owner Theo Pettaras are able to push the limits of digital technology in a way they never could before.

    When Theo Pettaras sets his mind to something, it’s difficult for anything to get in his way. Two years ago, he decided to do something about his health, and this year he won two championships in natural body-building. “I’ve learnt from bodybuilding that you have to have a goal and stick to it. It’s taught me about focus,” he said.

    Failing to reach his goals – in his personal or business life – is now no longer an option for Pettaras, and it’s this drive that led him to replace his aging digital press with the Fuji Xerox Iridesse, launched last year in Bangkok. “We thought about it for a long time, we made careful consideration,” he said. “We’re very happy with our decision, we feel Fuji Xerox have the infrastructure to be able to support us. It’s a great fit for us, and as we continue to grow, we believe they’re the one to help us with that.

    “When you weigh it all up, the overall benefits of all the different features that the Iridesse has, it’s in a class of its own compared to any other machine that we’ve seen.”

    Roger Labrum, Fuji Xerox.

    One unique selling point of the Iridesse press is its capacity to print using metallic gold and silver toner. When these are combined with CMYK, the press can print most Pantone metallic colours, according to Roger Labrum, graphic communications marketing manager at Fuji Xerox. “The press can underlay silver, gold or white through the first station, then mix this with CMYK colours to create what we call Metallicolours,” he said. “The final station within the press can deliver gold, silver, white and clear as a spot for any embellishment requirements – an industry first.”

    Applications for this could include products such as luxury car catalogues, suggests Labrum. “The information sent through from the customer could be translated into a variable data brochure full of the customer’s preferences on the vehicle. Fulfilled via the Iridesse, the application would be on-brand, but more importantly, the correct metallic colour of the vehicle would be represented correctly,” he said. “Advertising will form a large part of the applications this press will deliver to end users. Things like jewellery, cars, watches, fashion – all of these will benefit from the value-add of metallic.”

  • Fujifilm sets deadline for Xerox

    “If we have nothing by then, it can’t be helped,”: Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori.

    Fujifilm Holdings says it will walk away from its $US6.1 billion merger proposal with Xerox Corp if there’s no progress within six months.

    In his first media briefing since the new board at Xerox terminated the merger agreement, Fujifilm chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori said: “I don’t have a specific deadline in mind, but it should normally be from several months to six months. If we have nothing by then, it can’t be helped.

    “When I thought of the best way to maximize the corporate value of Xerox, the takeover was the only choice and I still think this plan is the one and only way,” Komori said. “But I’m not going to wait forever.”

    A U.S. court has issued an injunction blocking the merger to allow for the proposal to be presented to shareholders at Xerox’s upcoming AGM.

    Fujifilm has filed an appeal seeking to lift the injunction. “We signed the agreement with Xerox through a proper legal process,” said Komori. “We will keep pushing Xerox to fulfill what’s included in the agreement.”

    In February, Xerox and Fujifilm agreed to a deal that would merge Xerox into their 56-year-old Asia joint venture Fuji Xerox, which Fujifilm would control with a 50.1 percent stake.

    But after legal action from Xerox activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who said the deal undervalued the company, a new board at Xerox scrapped the deal. Icahn and Deason, who together own about 15 percent of Xerox, said they would consider a cash bid of $40 per share.

     The new board, headed by new CEO John Visentin – an ally of Icahn – is 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.

    Fujifilm currently owns 75% of Fuji Xerox, a joint venture launched more than 50 years ago.

     

  • Winds of change: Todd joins Konica Minolta

    “Konica Minolta ticked all the boxes for me”: Adam Todd, industrial print sales, Konica Minolta.

    Konica Minolta has appointed industry veteran Adam Todd to the role of industrial print sales specialist for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

    Todd has 30 years’ experience in the commercial print industry and prior to this role worked for ten years in commercial print sales at Fuji Xerox, and before that was national sales manager at Böttcher Australia for eight years.

    “I was looking for an organisation that was customer-focused, nimble, innovative and had a good social responsibility, and Konica Minolta ticked all the boxes for me,” Todd said.

    “As long-run print continues to struggle for relevance, the short run and versioned print markets will continue to grow, and is opening up new opportunities for commercial printers. Our conversations are now more about adding value and return on investment. With the market at a crossroads in terms of technology to fill this gap between long-run and short-run, Konica Minolta’s industrial print portfolio, including the KM-1, label press and MGI digital embellishment, are a really nice fit.”

    David Procter, sales director, Konica Minolta, said, “Adam has a depth of expertise in selling high-value capital equipment and complex software and workflow solutions to commercial printers, as well as very strong technical skills across a broad range of technology, making him an invaluable part of the sales team.”

     

  • LIA (NSW) hosts 3D Printing forum

    Print21’s Andy McCourt will be the lead presenter at a LIA NSW Technical Dinner later this month that will explore the latest developments in 3D Printing.

    “The LIA is hosting a not-to-be-missed event led by a cross section of the leading 3D printing vendors – Océ, Fuji Xerox and Konica Minolta,” says LIA NSW Treasurer Mike Williams. “An initial overview of the exciting possibilities of this technology will be presented by the renowned industry identity, Andy McCourt.”

    The evening will be focused on the latest technologies on offer, looking at current and future applications of 3D printing, and the implications and opportunities the technology presents to the graphic arts communications, packaging and label markets. A series of presentations from each of the invited speakers will be followed by a Q&A session with a panel of the presenters.

    “This is a unique opportunity to bring you up to speed on this topic, in a neutral and convivial atmosphere,” says Williams.

    Tuesday 26thJune 2018 at 6.00pm

    Carnarvon Golf Club

    65-95 Nottinghill Road, Lidcombe 2141

    Places will be limited and early booking is essential.

    Cost: $55 LIA members and $65 non-members.

    Reply to Mike Williams no later than 5pm, Friday 22 June 2018.

    Email nsw.secretary@lia.com.au or Fax (02) 9869 0554

     

  • Revolution fires up Australia’s 2nd KM-1

    Revolutionary partners in print: John Schreenan (left) and Leon Wilson.

    High-energy Ballarat printing company Revolution has thrown away the rulebook by installing the high-end, high capacity B2 inkjet press in the Victoria regional centre. Fired up printing partners and co-owners, Leon Wilson and John Schreenan, say they are hugely impressed with the productive power of the latest Konica Minolta inkjet digital technology. Two months after settling the press into its new air-conditioned home, the throughput is driving a massive growth in volumes.

    The pair are rightly dismissive of the notion that regional printers should be conservative in their technology choices, pointing to their early digital entry, a benchmark web-to-print strategy and national delivery footprint as ample justification for the new press. Traditional is not what the blokes at Revolution do: they’ve even decorated the new press in company livery to inject more excitement around the installation.

    As far as Wilson is concerned it’s all about changing the conversation and the perception of printing as a stick in the mud trade, especially in the regions. ‘Revo’ the über company mascot designed by a local artist, is everywhere, on walls, on marketing collateral and especially in the mindset of the two directors. He epitomises the freewheeling culture of Revolution and its determination not to be typecast as just another printer.

    “We don’t want to be the same as everyone else, to do the same thing printers have been doing for ever. We’re a technology company with a lot of energy and attitude. Our culture is more important than the technology we buy,” said Wilson.

    Culture and attitude are two words used a lot at Revolution. They go a long way to defining the drive and enthusiasm that has powered an impressive 50 percent growth in revenue over the past year. With 70 percent coming over the web, the local market still accounts for almost half of the total. The previous 12 months saw the partners expand the business with two acquisitions, one in Echuca, Victoria, the other in Goulburn, NSW.

    The AccurioJet KM-1 is destined to become the main production engine relieving the load on its two Fuji Xerox machines while complementing the capacity of the Shinohara offset press out the back. Bedding in a new printIQ production system, Revolution is set to reap the rewards of daring and belief in itself. The next tranche of investments will go to upgrading Horizon digital finishing equipment to keep pace with the multiplying numbers of jobs.

    “I’m thriving on the energy. The past two years have been without a break, but we’re on a mission here,” said Wilson.

    Part of that mission is to continue to differentiate Revolution from the rest, not only in technology investments such as the AccurioJet KM-1, but also in continuously refining of the company’s software, both in-house and online. The two owners are justifiably proud of their online presence, attributing much of the company’s success to their web-to-print operation.

    “People buy a software package out of a box and they think, problem solved. That’s why ninety percent of them stay on the shelf, because they don’t have somebody vested in the business that’s willing to spend the time,” said Wilson. “You’ve no idea how many hours I spent just thinking about it before attempting to actually set it up and make it work. That’s the investment. Ultimately it’s what makes a successful business.”

    It might be different in the metropolitan areas but in Ballarat, the onus was squarely on Wilson to make the thing work. There are few consultants in the area and even if there were he’s not impressed with that solution.

    “I did it all myself. It was a massive job. Some people say to hire a consultant but I don’t think they can do it. They don’t know the business. They’ll never understand internally what your drive and motivation is and how you want to run your business.

    “You also need to know how to manipulate the software, because if you’re pitching to a client and they ask you can you do something, you know straight away how it can be done, because you built the darn thing. It’s about having that confidence.”

    Revolution is a very differentiated printing company but in many ways it fits a normal commercial profile. It prints a wide range of materials, ready to take on everything and outsource what doesn’t suit its production. According to Schreenan, much of the difference is what happens to the jobs once they’ve been downloaded.

    “We go across a range of products and a lot of other printers do as well. But where it’s different is what happens once it gets to us and then how it gets to print,” he said.

    “Our business philosophy is very ‘can do’. Our attitude is extremely different. Seventy percent coming through online is a pretty big percentage. We know it’s a massive number. That’s something we’ve worked hard at for a long time. Leon took the base system of online and developed it. We made it work the way our customers need it to work. The software is not one size fits all.  That’s the unique side of our business.”

    There’s a very natural synergy between the two directors with Wilson first working in the business and then buying in as an equal partner four years ago. Very much the high-energy entrepreneur, he revels in the role of visionary and evangelist. Schreenan is more in the traditional style. After a long career with Fuji Xerox, he came back to Ballarat and transformed the company by investing in digital printing. He’s now the customer service side of the business giving Wilson air to constantly look towards the future.

    There are more investments on the cards for Revolution apart from the Horizon finishing kit, but they’re taking a step back from their usual full-on speed. “We’ve obviously made a bunch of investments. There will be more, maybe other acquisitions but lets’ bed this in first. The growth curve is massive and we’re trying to manage that,” said Wilson.

    “Updating our MIS is a massive project. We’ve moved across to printIQ, which is the system that will decide the most appropriate route for every job that comes in. But you must realise we’re only using fifteen percent of our true automation capability. We have so much potential ahead of us. “

    As only the second Accurio KM-1 in Australia (the first went into Jossimo in Melbourne late last year) Konica Minolta is understandably keeping a very close eye on the operation and lending as much support as required. According to Sue Threlfo, GM production & industrial print, inkjet is such a relatively pioneering technology at the high end of the market that just about everybody in it is new. 

    “That’s why an innovative organisation such as Revolution has a real market advantage.  When the KM-1 technology is paired with such dynamic forward thinkers as John and Leon, it shows just what can be achieved in the printing industry,” she said.

    Sue Threlfo (right) with Leon Wilson and Anthony Jackson, industrial print sales specialist (left).

    “The AccurioJet KM-1 is already very quickly having a positive effect for Revolution.  It has the ability to produce such a wide range of jobs so efficiently. Textured stocks, right through to forms and letterheads are proving there are significant productivity gains to be had with the KM-1.  We appreciate Leon and John sharing their passion for the Konica Minolta KM-1. 

    “John and Leon first saw the KM-1 at drupa in 2016.  From there they reviewed all the available solutions in the B2 inkjet marketplace, and decided that the total offering from Konica Minolta was the superior option. It seems their decision has been a great choice.  At Konica Minolta we are excited to see where the future takes such the energetic innovative organisation as Revolution Print.”

  • Xerox under the hammer – Andy McCourt’s ReVerb

    Billionaire Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn reportedly described the industry as ‘a piece of sh*t.’

    The storm-tossed recent history of Xerox seems to have entered calmer waters for now, as the shareholder activists Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason have succeeded in getting what they wanted – a free market auction of the USD$7.16 billion market cap. company. This is below half of what Xerox was worth in September 2015, just prior to splitting off its Business Services division, now a separate company called Conduent.

    Andy McCourt, Print21.

    The concept of auctioning-off to the highest bidder such a large company as Xerox is somewhat foreign to usual business protocols. Companies, unless they are bankrupt and being liquidated, are normally acquired in a take-over bid that can be either friendly or unfriendly. It’s not unusual to see another higher offer or a gazumping of the initial offer by a third party but an out-and-out auction is normally reserved for distressed assets and companies that are in financial difficulties.

    But an out-and-out auction of a large company that is, apparently, not under financial stress is strange. It’s no secret that neither Icahn nor Deason want to run Xerox and that the board they have installed is only there to facilitate the auction and extract maximum value for the big shareholders, irrespective of the on-going success of the NYSE (XRX)-listed company.

    Can shareholders dictate how a company is run?

    The juicy part of Xerox has already been split off with the creation of Conduent (NYSE: CNDT), whose shares are up 19% year-to-date. Xerox’s are down 6%. So, this is looking more and more like a break-up; a raking over the remaining bones of a once iconic company, suffering the ignominy of being auctioned off to the highest bidder, rather than being run with vision, invested in (which Fujifilm promised) and able to come up with the same brilliant ideas that gave us the copier, ethernet, laser printer, GUI and mouse. Yes, they all came out of Xerox PARC research division, an incorporated Xerox company since 2002.

    That two activist shareholders in Icahn and Deason, with only around 15% of issued stock, can effectively take over and dictate what happens to a major publicly-listed company and decide to auction it off is unprecedented in company law. Respected US Management Study Guide says (caps theirs):

    “However, shareholder ownership does not imply control since the company law makes it clear that only a majority percentage of the shareholders can exercise control. The point here is that, to have effective say over the running of the company, a majority vote of the shareholders is necessary following the democratic norms of participation that govern companies.”

      Harvard Business Review goes further, having published:

    “Corporate reality, though, has proved stubbornly uncooperative. In legal terms, shareholders don’t own the corporation (they own securities that give them a less-than-well-defined claim on its earnings). In law and practice, they don’t have final say over most big corporate decisions (boards of directors do). And although many top managers pledge fealty to shareholders, their actions and their pay packages often bespeak other loyalties. This gap between rhetoric and reality—coupled with waves of corporate scandal and implosion—has led to repeated calls to give outside investors even more say.”

     The bloc – backgrounder

    ‘No stranger to accounting scandals himself’: billionaire investor Darwin Deason.

    Deason and Icahn present themselves as hard-done-by investors and maybe they are; but neither are angels of light. Deason repeatedly highlights the ‘accounting scandal’ in Fuji Xerox New Zealand and to a lesser extent Australia under the aegis of Neil Whittaker. He is no stranger to accounting scandals himself, having experienced accusations of back-dating share options in the company he ultimately sold to Xerox: Affiliated Computer Services. Over 60 ACS managers lost their jobs including the CEO Mark King. Known as ‘springloading,’ the back-dating of share options can make large sums of money for those in the game by choosing past low-price dates to acquire stock that then rises in value.

    Chairman Deason came out of it relatively unscathed through ‘not knowing’ but settled with the US Securities & Exchange Commission with neither side ‘confirming or denying’ culpability. Deason has often been associated with cyber-intelligence activities and even CIA involvement. Indeed, at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, there is the “Darwin Deason Centre for Cyber-Security”  https://www.smu.edu/Lyle/Institutes/DeasonInstitute, so it’s safe to assume he is a very smart guy with powerful friends.

    There’re even some conspiracy-like stories about Deason and his CIA links: http://www.constantinereport.com/comair-crash-fenton-dawson-acs-cia-torture-scandal-corporate-looting-the-nsa-etc/

    Carl Icahn, on the other hand, is just an old-fashioned Wall Street wolf, making his approximately $20 billion fortune by stock plays, corporate raiding, shorting and anything else. The character Gordon Gekko (“Greed is good”) from the film Wall Street is said to be partially modelled on him: https://www.economist.com/node/9176383

    He made his first fortune in the 1980s with a hostile takeover of troubled airline TWA, borrowing money to take it private then stripping its assets to pocket around USD$469 million. Lately, he has been an economic advisor to US President Donald Trump.

    What about Fujifilm?

    So, the kind of businessmen now calling the shots at Xerox cannot be expected to enthusiastically come up with new technologies nor have an interest in our industry. Indeed, according a memo by ousted CEO Jeff Jacobson, Icahn and now-Xerox-board-member Jonathan Christodoro, described ‘the industry’ as follows: “The discussion centred around Icahn and Christodoro’s view that the industry ‘was a piece of sh*t’ and the Xerox business was not driving value,” Jacobson wrote.

    It’s all here in one of the best updates on the situation by Bloomberg’s Drake Bennett: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-24/how-not-to-negotiate-a-6-1-billion-deal

    There’s no denying the Fujifilm proposed takeover was very smart and beneficial to Fujifilm Holdings, I wrote about it in February: https://print21.com.au/stunningly-brilliant-deal-andy-mccourt-on-fujifilms-xerox-takeover/152084

    However, I would say that Fujifilm and the Fuji Xerox joint venture part of the Xerox structure is the dialysis machine that has kept Xerox’s kidneys functioning for the past two decades. Remove it and the patient will get very sick indeed – or die.

    Fujifilm makes most of the sellable tech that Xerox offers. It is in control of the largest market on Earth – Asia Pacific, having boosted its 50% jv share to 75% in 2001 when Xerox was on the verge of bankruptcy. It was Fujifilm’s money that saved the company. Forbes magazine sums it up here: https://www.forbes.com/2002/11/06/1106soapbox.html#1116b2c5486f

    If Deason and Icahn think that Xerox can prosper without Asia Pacific (especially China) and without Fujifilm, they must have rocks in their heads. Of course, they don’t – they know the score precisely and just want out of their holding positions for as much as possible. Maybe Fujifilm should have upped their offer but instead have opted for a legal challenge to the Icahn-Deason putsch. Maybe the poker game they are playing is to force Fujifilm’s hand because they know that no one in their right mind would buy Xerox without its major supplier and business partner locked in.

    Likely bidders

    Who would bid at an auction for Xerox?

    • Apollo Global Management – private equity buy-out firm closely linked to the Icahn-Deason bloc. Expect a colossal break-up if this happens.
    • HP – Did express interest early on in a call to Jeff Jacobson but was rebuffed. Slotting HP tech into Xerox to replace Fujifilm would have its appeal but what about the jv in Asia Pacific?
    • Konica Minolta – would love to own Xerox and its channels I am sure and, as the arch-combatant with Fujifilm from photographic days, would delight in removing them. But again -what about the 75/25 jv in Asia Pacific?
    • Canon – Bought Océ in 2010 and maybe this has not gone as well as hoped for. They could be nervous bidders.
    • Other private equity – such as Danaher Corporation who are an exception to the ‘breakup and loot’ model. They run companies successfully, including Esko, X-Rite, AVT, Leica Microsystems, Pantone and Videojet in our industry.

    Unless Fujifilm’s court action succeeds, Xerox is headed for auction. Let’s all hope that the ‘Going-going’ does not literally end in ‘Gone.’

    Update: In its latest filing this week with the New York State Supreme Court, Fujifilm has slammed the ‘self-serving’ settlement that saw the entire board ousted and replaced by Icahn-Deason friendly members. It also claims the termination of the deal is ‘in violation of a valid contract authorised unanimously by the [Xerox] board.’ 
    Word on the street is that Fujifilm Holdings will seek damages of up to $245 million if the deal is eventually stymied. This will get uglier.

  • New specialty films for digital printers

    Jet Tech’s new thermal laminating films.

    Jet Technologies has released a new range of thermal laminating films for the digital printing industry.

    Thermal lamination is the process of bonding film to paper using heat and pressure. The process adds value by providing aesthetic enhancement and protection from creasing, fading, scuff marks, water damage, wrinkles, stains, smudges, abrasions or marks from grease or fingerprints.

    “We’re very excited to be launching a new range of innovative thermal laminating films for digital printers,” says Jack Malki, director, Jet Technologies. “The films are the perfect solution for small to medium size digital printers who regularly manage short run prints, because it delivers these printers a cost-effective option for Soft Touch and Anti-Scuff films for the first time.”

    The new range of thermal lamination films offers both Soft Touch and Anti-Scuff films to digital printers for the very first time. The films, which have better adhesive for digital printing, are designed for A4 and A3 printing. They are available on smaller rolls and allow for quick turnaround and short run laminating, as the finishes can be immediately laminated, even with the darkest of prints.

    The range includes both gloss and matte, anti-scuff, and Soft Touch from Derprosa, the inventors of soft touch top-coating technology.

    The new films are approved for use with a number of digital print systems including HP 12000, Konica Minolta’s Acurio C6100 and bizhub PRESS C1060, along with the MGI, and from Fuji Xerox the Docucolor 550, iGen4 & iGen5, Versant 3100, and the Colorpress 1000i Press.

    To find out more visit: https://www.jet-ap.com/product/print-and-finish/thermal-laminating-film/=

     

  • Fujifilm to sue as Xerox launches auction

    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.

     

  • John Visentin named as new Xerox CEO

    John Visentin, CEO Xerox Corp.

    Xerox has appointed John Visentin as its new chief executive officer days after calling off a proposed $6.1 billion agreement with Fujifilm Holdings. The Japanese company says it’s considering legal action over its failed takeover bid.

     Visentin, an ally of billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn – who together with fellow billionaire Darren Deason fought the deal in court – has been appointed CEO and elected vice chairman of the new board. Keith Cozza was elected chairman.

    Former CEO Jeff Jacobson resigned earlier this week along with five other board members after Xerox “terminated” its proposed deal with Fujifilm and signed a new settlement with Icahn and Deason, who together own 15 percent of the company.

    Fujifilm says it is now considering all options, including legal action

    “Fujifilm disputes Xerox’s unilateral decision to terminate the transaction,” the company said in a statement. “We do not believe that Xerox has a legal right to terminate our agreement and we are reviewing all of our available options, including bringing a legal action seeking damages.”

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

    Xerox will hold its 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on July 31.

  • It’s off! Xerox terminates Fujifilm deal

    US printer and photocopy maker Xerox Corp has called off its proposed $6.1 billion agreement with Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings and signed a new settlement with activist shareholders Carl Icahn and Darren Deason, who had sued to block the Fujifilm takeover deal. Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson has resigned, along with five other board members.

    Outgoing Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson.

    In its statement announcing the latest twist in an ongoing saga that has seen Jacobson forced to resign before being reinstated and now forced to resign again, Xerox said:

    The previously announced transaction agreement to combine Xerox with Fuji Xerox is being terminated in accordance with its terms due to, among other things, the failure by Fujifilm to deliver the audited financials of Fuji Xerox by April 15, 2018 and the material deviations reflected in the audited financials of Fuji Xerox, when delivered, from the unaudited financial statements of Fuji Xerox and its subsidiaries provided to Xerox prior to the date of the Subscription Agreement and taking into account other circumstances limiting the ability of the Company, Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox to consummate a transaction.

    Incoming Xerox CEO John Visentin.

    Billionaire activist shareholders Carl Icahn and Darren Deason have been welcomed back into the fold with a new agreement that Xerox hopes will end months of in-fighting.

    Xerox entered into a new settlement agreement with Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason. The settlement agreement resolves the pending proxy contest in connection with the company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and Mr. Deason’s litigation against Xerox and its directors. It does not affect any claims of Mr. Deason or other Xerox shareholders against Fujifilm for aiding and abetting.

    Icahn ally John Visentin is expected to be named the new Xerox CEO. Under the terms of the new settlement, Visentin is one of five new board members, alongside Jonathan Christodoro, Keith Cozza, Nicholas Graziano and Scott Letier.

    Keith Cozza, the Chief Executive Officer of Icahn Enterprises L.P., is expected to be appointed as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of Xerox, and John Visentin is expected to be appointed as the Vice Chairman and new Chief Executive Officer of Xerox.

    As part of the agreement, Xerox and Carl Icahn will withdraw their nominations of other director candidates for election at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will be postponed to a later date.

    The new Board of Directors plans to meet immediately and evaluate all strategic alternatives “to maximize shareholder value.”

    Icahn welcomed the news. “We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm,” he said. “With that behind us and new shareholder-focused leadership in place, today marks a new beginning for Xerox. We have often said that the most important person at a company (by far) is the CEO. We are therefore also pleased that John Visentin, a tried and true veteran in this area, will be taking the helm.”

    Darwin Deason said the company can now conduct “a true, robust strategic alternatives process. John Visentin has spent weeks preparing himself to run the company and speaking to numerous market participants regarding strategic alternatives. Xerox is fortunate to have someone with his experience and preparation to lead it through this exciting and transformative time.”

    Fujifilm currently owns 75% of Fuji Xerox, a 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.

    Fujifilm has yet to respond to the announcement.

  • Russia rebuffs anti-dumping commission

    The Russian Federation is refusing to cooperate with a federal government Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) investigation into the alleged dumping of cheap A4 copy paper on the Australian market. Finland has also dismissed the allegations as “questionable.”

    The ADC is investigating claims by Australian Paper – Australia’s only office paper manufacturer – that five countries including Russia, South Korea, Austria, Finland and the Slovak Republic are exporting copy paper to Australia that is being sold at prices cheaper than its popular Reflex brand.

    I will rely on all other information available’: ADC Commissioner Dale Seymour

    In a preliminary report, the ADC said “there appear to be reasonable grounds to support the claims that the Australian industry has experienced loss of revenue and reduced profitability.”

    The claims have been dismissed by the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in Canberra, which has refused to cooperate with the investigation and has rejected an ADC request to complete an “exporter questionnaire.”

    In a submission to the ADC, Alexander Kuznetsov, acting trade representative of the Russian Federation in Australia, said: “We would like to remind that according to Article 5.8 of the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement, the volume of dumped imports shall normally be regarded as negligible if the volume of dumped imports from a particular country is found to account for less than 3 per cent of imports of the like product…the import volumes of the goods from the Russian Federation in 2017 were about 0.94 percent of all imports of the goods into Australia in 2017.

    “We urge the Commission to promptly terminate the investigation in respect of the Russian goods if the import volume from the Russian Federation is found to account for less than 3 percent of all imports into Australia during the investigation period.”

    ADC Commissioner Dale Seymour has warned Russia it will be considered “an uncooperative exporter” if it continues to refuse to provide details of its paper exports into Australia.

    “I have determined that if Russia has not provided a response within the legislated period; and has not requested a longer period to provide a response…Russia will be considered an uncooperative exporter for the purposes of this investigation and I will rely on all other information available in making recommendations and findings.”

    Finland said it was concerned about “possible intentional claims to the authorities initiated by the companies acting on this market to create excessive administrative barriers for new potential competitors.

    ‘Insignificant supply volumes’: Teija Kalinainen, International Paper, Finland.

    “Please note that collecting the information in scope requested by the Anti-Dumping Commission entails significant volume of resources to be spent,” said Teija Kalinainen, finance controller at International Paper Nordic Sales in Finland. “These [sic] spending may appear to be highly disproportional to [redacted] turnover of the product the Company sold in Australia in year 2017…the real dumping effect the Company’s product pricing could make in Australia with such insignificant supply volumes, is questionable.”

    Last week, Melbourne-based Central National Australia also denied dumping cheap A4 paper onto the local market by importing Fuji Xerox Professional Paper from the Hankuk Paper company in South Korea.

    The ADC is investigating exports to Australia in 2017 to look for evidence of dumping and also intends to examine the Australian market from January 2014 for “injury analysis purposes” to see whether the dumped goods provide a basis for a dumping duty to apply retrospectively.

    Australian Paper – owned by global giant Nippon Paper Group – is one of the largest employers in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

  • Melbourne paper company denies A4 dumping

    (Photo: Central National)

    Melbourne-based Central National Australia has denied it’s dumping cheap A4 paper onto the local market by importing Fuji Xerox Professional Paper from the Hankuk Paper company in South Korea.

    Australian Paper, Australia’s only office paper manufacturer, claims the imported Fuji Xerox paper is being sold at prices cheaper than its flagship Reflex brand.

    The Federal Government’s Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) is investigating allegations that five countries are exporting cheap copy paper to Australia.

    In an application for a dumping notice, Japanese-owned Australian Paper told the ADC the local A4 copy paper market had suffered “material injury” caused by cheap A4 copy paper exported from South Korea, Austria, Finland, Russia and the Slovak Republic.

    In a preliminary report, the ADC said: There appear to be reasonable grounds to support the claims that the Australian industry has experienced material injury in the form of price depression, loss of revenue and reduced profitability.

    Dumping claims ‘simply not correct’: Scott Hordern, MD Central National Australia.

    But in a submission to the ADC, Central National Australia (CNA) – a Wantirna South, Melbourne division of New York-based global pulp and paper company Central National – slammed Australian Paper’s claims and denied it was guilty of paper dumping.

    “Central National is a sales company that works with numerous exporters selling paper and products (including copy paper) into Australia and New Zealand,” said MD Scott Hordern in a written submission that was heavily redacted before being published on the ADC site. “During the period of investigation, we worked with Hankuk Paper in promoting and selling their grades to wholesalers/distributors in the Australian market. At no time was it Hankuk Paper or Central National’s intention to cause injury to Australian Paper through price suppression.”

    Part of the CNA submission.

    Hordern called for an investigation of all of pricing in the market and criticized “the limited details put forward by Australian Paper” in their application for an investigation.

    “Whilst Australian Paper suggests a market volume decline of 3% pa, we wish to highlight the significant increase in Australian Paper’s market share during the period – such a significant increase in market share does not correlate with a company experiencing injury from imports.”

    Hordern said allegations that imports from South Korea undercut Australian Paper’s prices and contributed to a deterioration in prices “is simply not correct. The pricing of imports from Hankuk Paper during the period were always above the Australian Paper price levels of their lower tiered products.

    “Australian Paper imply that Fuji Xerox Professional Paper from Hankuk is being sold at below Reflex pricing of $4.99/rm in their argument that Hankuk Paper’s product is hence causing injury. Whilst Australian Paper claims that Officework’s strategy means weekly discounts are rare, it is extremely likely that pricing of both these grades may have been discounted at the time of Australian Paper reporting.”

    The ADC is investigating exports to Australia last year to look for evidence of dumping. It also intends to examine the Australian market from January 2014 for “injury analysis purposes” to see whether the dumped goods provide a basis for a dumping duty to apply retrospectively.

    Australian Paper – owned by global giant Nippon Paper Group – is one of the largest employers in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

    Central National Australia is the local office of Central National Division – a group with over US$3.5 billion of sales in the pulp and paper industry globally. The Australian office conducts sales between paper mills all over the world – Europe, Americas and Asia – and customers in Australia and New Zealand. The range of paper products sold covers publication (newsprint, magazine papers), packaging (all packaging uses) and printing and writing papers (coated paper, copy paper).

  • 46 jobs go at Fuji Xerox Printers

    Fuji Xerox Australia headquarters at North Ryde.

    Fuji Xerox Australia has declined to comment on reports that only four out of 50 staff members at its Fuji Xerox Printers (FXP) division have been offered jobs in the integration of the business into Fuji Xerox Australia.

    Fuji Xerox Australia does not comment on employee related matters, the company said in a statement via emailFuji Xerox Australia remains committed to continuing sustainable relationships with our distributors and resellers.

    The incorporation of Fuji Xerox Printers into Fuji Xerox Australia was revealed in February 2018 – the same week that Fujifilm Holdings outlined its plans to acquire Xerox Corp in a $US6.1 billion deal that is facing multiple legal challenges.

    At the time, Fujifilm said that as part of its buyout of Xerox it planned to cut 10,000 jobs at Fuji Xerox in the Asia Pacific region by March 2020.

    It was reported that the FXP offices at Frenchs Forest would be closed and personnel would be moved to the FXA office in Ryde.

    According to IT industry news website ARNnet, local FXP staff were told that employees would be either offered a position at Fuji Xerox Australia or a redundancy, which would be effective as at the end of March. 

    Of more than 50 Fuji Xerox Printers’ (FXP) staff in Australia, just four have been offered a full-time position. ARN understands that the vast majority of staff had no option but to be made redundant. Some have also found work in different parts of the industry.

     

  • Xerox to seek better deal with Fujifilm

    Xerox says it will seek improved financial terms when it resumes negotiations with Fujifilm over the Japanese company’s proposed $6.1 billion takeover deal. Xerox also accused billionaire investor Carl Icahn of ‘false and highly irresponsible fear-mongering’ over the agreement.

     The Xerox board issued a letter to its shareholders after an volatile few weeks that has seen activist investors Icahn and Darren Deason try to block the Fujifilm agreement with legal action.

    “We recognize that events over the last few weeks – including the unexpected, adverse lower court ruling on April 27 and our ongoing disagreement with Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason – have caused uncertainty, and that there is a great deal of misinformation in the marketplace,” the board said.

    “We stand at a strategic inflection point. Consistent with our duties to all Xerox shareholders, we intend to: resume discussions with Fujifilm regarding a potential combination with Fuji Xerox on superior terms to the transaction announced on January 31; continue to engage with all of our shareholders and ensure all shareholder voices are heard; and pursue our appeal of the lower court’s ruling in the Deason litigation, which we believe was wrongly decided and will be reversed.

    The board accused Icahn of spreading false information about the proposed deal.

    “We have refrained from engaging in a back and forth with Mr. Icahn and Mr. Deason in their campaign against the company, even as they targeted management and the Board with personal, unsubstantiated attacks that we believe have been damaging to Xerox. However, after Mr. Icahn told the Nikkei Asian Review that a combination of Xerox and Fuji Xerox creates a risk of bankruptcy, we felt compelled to respond and to point out that Mr. Icahn’s fear-mongering was false and highly irresponsible. We do not wish to be drawn into a public dispute with Mr. Icahn and Mr. Deason, but will exercise our fiduciary duties at all times to protect the interests of all Xerox shareholders.”

    Icahn also faced heavy criticism over his business practices from former Clinton administration official Robert Reich.

    Earlier this week, Icahn and Deason – who own 15 percent of Xerox – said they would consider a cash bid of $40 per share – a 43 percent hike on the Japanese firm’s offer of about $28 per share.