Xerox ends Fujifilm deal in win for Carl Icahn

Credit Emily Hunt  for WXXI News

Xerox ended the planned $6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm Holdings and reached a settlement with the activist investors.

The two companies had agreed in January to a complex deal that would have merged Xerox into their Asia joint venture Fuji Xerox and given Fujifilm control.

Xerox said it was terminating its agreement to combine with Fuji Xerox after Fujifilm failed to provide audited financials for the joint venture on time.

The decision ends a tumultuous and long-running battle between Icahn, Deason and Xerox, and will see to see the departure of five board members including CEO, Jeff Jacobson. John Visentin is expected to take over as CEO while Keith Cozza, the CEO of Icahn Enterprises, will become chairman.

When the statements were delivered, it said, the audited financials had "material deviations" from the unaudited statements given to Xerox earlier.

Icahn and Deason had opposed Fujifilm's takeover, arguing it undervalued Xerox, and had called for Jacobson's resignation.


A representative for Fujifilm wasn't immediately available for comment. Xerox's former board said it believes the transaction can not be completed under the circumstances, citing a court injunction and "the lack of shareholder support for the transaction on current terms".

The activist investors have also said they are unhappy with the current structure of the joint venture, and settlement creates uncertainty concerning potential changes to a business that accounts for almost half of Fujifilm's revenue.

Icahn said he was happy with the decision.

"We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm", Icahn said.

Mr Icahn welcomed the outcome, stating "we have been exceptionally delighted that Xerox lastly declared the ill advised strategy to seize charge of the business to Fujifilm". The lawsuit also claimed that the company's board breached its fiduciary duties. "With that behind us and new shareholder-focused leadership in place, today marks a new beginning for Xerox".

New CEO Visentin had been earmarked by headhunters as a replacement for Jacobson past year, and his background includes executive roles at two firms that have been named as potential purchasers of Xerox: HP and venture capital firm Apollo Global Management. In contrast to the investors' argument that Fujifilm is only offering $28 per share, analysts have said the Japanese firm's offer is not too far off that per share valuation, albeit not in cash.

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