August 1, 2018
The Chairman and CEO of the OEM has said whilst it still intends to work towards the acquisition of Xerox, the deal is “not indispensable” for Fujifilm’s future growth.
The Nikkei Asian Review reports that in an interview with Shigetaka Komori, the CEO declared that Fujifilm saw no need to compromise, saying that the company “would not go as far as to raise our terms of acquisition, set in January, to realise the deal.”
The deal was delayed indefinitely following the long-standing campaign by Xerox’s major shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, whose attempts to halt the merger eventually forced CEO Jeff Jacobson from his post, to be replaced by ally John Visentin.
Last week, Visentin reiterated his position that the American OEM will not renewed its agreement with Fuji Xerox, which currently sees Xerox cater for Western markets whilst Fuji Xerox operates in the Asia Pacific region.
Although no solution to the frozen dispute is in sight, Komori seems content to play the waiting game.
“It will be better if we can buy Xerox,” he told Nikkei Asian Review, but acknowledged that it was “not an indispensable strategy.”
“Fujifilm can grow without the acquisition, which does not mean we will lose our future,” he continued, raising concerns that Fujifilm might cancel its bid altogether, although Icahn and others remain resolute that Fujifilm will eventually crack and offer more favourable terms.
Komori’s latest comments, however, appear to pour cold water on that idea: “I make it clear that we will offer no more terms than what we have done. The terms we offered in January are the ceiling.” He added that although Fujifilm has the funds to reduce the terms, they are needed for “medical and other fields” in which it is aiming to grow.
Komori also questioned Xerox’s ability to function if they decided to review the current Fuji Xerox partnership, as Visentin implied. “They will be in trouble if they review the partnership,” he explained, pointing out that the American company has no sales network throughout Asia, whereas Fujifilm has sales routes throughout Europe and the USA gained by selling other product lines.
Nikkei Asian Review speculates that “in the absence of effective measures to settle the impasses, Komori’s remarks suggested that Fujifilm will have to consider abandoning the bid,” with the Japanese company seemingly prepared to call Icahn, Deason, and Visentin’s bluff.
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