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Dramatic changes for Xerox

May 3, 2018

In a remarkable volte-face, the OEM’s CEO and 6 other board members are being replaced, putting its proposed Fujifilm deal in jeopardy.

As CNBC reports, Xerox has announced that CEO Jeff Jacobson and 6 other board members are stepping down, in order to “settle a suit by activist shareholders” Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason.

This move, which has been described as “a triumph” for Icahn and Deason, means that the OEM’s proposed $6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm will be re-evaluated by Xerox’s new board, “while the two shareholders will withdraw their proxy fight as part of the settlement.”

These significant developments follow hard on the heels of their victory in court, when a judge granted a court order to temporarily halt the deal with Fujifilm, agreeing that Jacobson had been “hopelessly conflicted” when it came to the deal’s negotiation.

“We believe Friday’s decision and this agreement mark a watershed moment for corporate governance generally and for Xerox specifically,” Icahn said in a statement.

Icahn Enterprises’ CEO, Keith Cozza, will now take over as chairman of Xerox, while John Visentin, whom Icahn had hired “to assist him in fighting Xerox”, will be assuming the reins as CEO.

Fujifilm has issued a strong response, saying it will file an objection in court in addition to appealing the previous court ruling, before going on to state that “Xerox’s new board had an obligation to comply with agreements in January.”

Meanwhile, in “the latest twist” to this convoluted tale, MIX92.9 reports that buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC has expressed its own interest in a potential acquisition of Xerox, perhaps due to the fact that new CEO, Visentin, has previously held high-ranking positions in two companies which Apollo invested in.

However there “is no certainty” that Apollo’s expression of interest will result in a deal, and so far neither Apollo or Xerox have opted to comment.





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