February 13, 2018
The war of words over the proposed Fujifilm-Xerox joint venture has continued with the pair’s latest polemic.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that two of Xerox’s largest shareholders, Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, have unleashed their latest stinging attack on the company following its deal with Fujifilm.
The pair have been a constant thorn in the side of Xerox’s Board of Directors over the deal, which has been fiercely criticised by the two men, both jointly and independently.
In January, they published a co-authored letter denouncing the proposed venture, which now only requires shareholder approval, demanding more information about its terms, or else a euthanisation of the whole deal. As well as this, they heavily condemned the leadership of Xerox, calling for a change at the top.
Now, following further progress on the partnership, and the announcement that Xerox would merge into the existing joint venture, Fuji Xerox, and become fully owned by Fujifilm, Icahn and Deason are lobbying shareholders to reject both the deal, and the OEM’s leadership team.
“The current Board of Directors has overseen the systematic destruction of Xerox, and unless we do something, this latest Fuji scheme will be the company’s final death knell,” read the duo’s latest statement, released this week.
“We urge you – our fellow shareholders – do not let Fuji steal this company from us. There is still tremendous opportunity for us to realise value on our own if we bring in the right leadership.”
The unequivocal statement also repeated Icahn and Deason’s demands for more financial information on the Fujifilm joint venture. It also argues that despite Xerox remaining “an iconic brand with a valuable portfolio”, no value creation could take place were the deal to go ahead, or if the current leadership were to remain.
“There is still great opportunity for Xerox to create enormous value for shareholders, and it does not involve selling control to Fuji without a premium,” the statement clarified.
A Xerox statement released in response reiterated that the Fujifilm venture provides shareholders with a substantial dividend payment, and would deliver “enhanced growth prospects and a stronger financial profile.”
“A comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives conducted over many months by the independent members of the Xerox Board of Directors, in consultation with independent financial and legal advisors, considered several other options in detail and concluded that the combination with Fuji Xerox is the best path to create value for Xerox shareholders,” company spokesperson Carl Langsenkamp said.
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