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HP pleads “don’t talk to Xerox”

March 26, 2020

Hewlett Packard (HP) warned shareholders that dialogue with Xerox about the proposed tender offer could be “disastrous” as they “are all focused on managing the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Under these circumstances and consistent with our fiduciary duties, we believe that we should not divert valuable time, attention and resources to a dialogue with Xerox about its proposed transaction,” HP said in a letter to investors.

HP Also commented: “Our primary responsibility in this difficult period is to focus on HP’s business and address the needs of our ecosystem of stakeholders around the world, including our shareholders, our millions of customers, our 250,000 partners, and our team of approximately 55,000 employees” and “…ensuring HP is well-positioned to support people working remotely.”

On 17 March, HP issued a firmware update issued a firmware update for a popular range on inkjet printers used in home and small office environments that would disable the use of aftermarket consumables. The timing of the upgrade coincides with the growth of the pandemic and increased teleworking and home schooling.

Apex, Ninestar and Static Control responded within forty-eight hours to provide new chips solutions to overcome the HP firmware upgrade.

Editor’s Opinion: It is clear that tackling the pandemic is everyone’s first priority, even if all you can do is stay at home. HP suggests to shareholders that they don’t speak to Xerox while HP focuses on the coronavirus, but you can’t help wonder if the timing of the firmware upgrade was HP exploiting the situation?

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