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Xerox to seek better deal with Fujifilm

Friday, 11 May 2018
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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.

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