May 2, 2018
The OEM has made a landmark announcement, revealing it has entered into an agreement with Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason.
After a protracted and very heated war of words with its major shareholders, Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, Xerox has finally announced that it has entered into an agreement with the pair.
This agreement, according to the OEM, will resolve the pending proxy contest in connection with the company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, as well as the ongoing litigation against Xerox and its directors related to the company’s proposed combination with Fuji Xerox.
The agreement does not affect any claims of Mr. Deason against Fujifilm for aiding and abetting.
The agreement will become effective upon execution by the court of stipulations discontinuing the Deason litigations as to the Xerox defendants. The agreement will automatically terminate if the court does not act before 8:00 p.m. ET on 3 May 2018. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, upon effectiveness:
- Xerox will appoint six new members to its Board of Directors: Keith Cozza, Nicholas Graziano, Scott Letier, Jay Firestone, Randolph Read and John Visentin.
- Jeff Jacobson will resign as Chief Executive Officer of Xerox and as a member of its Board of Directors.
- Robert J. Keegan, Charles Prince, Ann N. Reese, William Curt Hunter, Sara Martinez Tucker and Stephen H. Rusckowski will also each resign from the Board of Directors of Xerox.
Subsequent to joining the Xerox Board of Directors, Keith Cozza, the Chief Executive Officer of Icahn Enterprises L.P., is expected to be elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Xerox and John Visentin is expected to be appointed as the new Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox. Gregory Brown, Joseph Echevarria and Cheryl Krongard will continue to serve as members of Xerox’s Board of Directors.
As part of the agreement, Xerox and Carl Icahn will withdraw their respective nominations of any other director candidates for election at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Xerox will continue to waive the advance notice bylaw for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders until May 30, 2018. The 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be postponed to a later date.
The company has been informed that subsequent to the agreement becoming effective, the new Board of Directors plans to meet immediately to, among other things, begin a process to evaluate all strategic alternatives to maximise shareholder value, including terminating or restructuring Xerox’s relationship with Fujifilm and the proposed transaction with Fujifilm.
The current Board of Directors of Xerox issued the following statement about the agreement:
“After careful consideration of shareholders’ feedback on the proposed combination with Fuji Xerox, Xerox approached Fujifilm regarding a potential increase in consideration to be received by Xerox shareholders. As yet, Fujifilm has not made a proposal to enhance the transaction terms.
Following the court’s decision last week to enjoin Xerox’s proposed combination with Fuji Xerox, the Board considered the significant risk and uncertainty of a prolonged litigation, during which the company would be prohibited from negotiating with Fujifilm, as well as the potential instability and business disruption during a proxy contest. As a result, the Xerox Board of Directors determined that an immediate resolution of the pending litigation and proxy contest is in the best interest of our company and all stakeholders.
This agreement will help ensure that Xerox and its employees will be able to continue to focus on serving customers and building on the company’s financial and operational performance.”
Carl Icahn issued the following statement about the agreement:
“We believe Friday’s decision and this agreement mark a watershed moment for corporate governance generally and for Xerox specifically. With new leadership in place, we believe Xerox will be much better positioned to take advantage of multiple potential value-enhancing opportunities, including restructuring its relationship with Fujifilm, our supposed “partner” whose conduct over the last year is more unbelievable than what you see on fictional TV shows like House of Cards or Billions. Thanks to our efforts and the courage and conviction of Darwin Deason, this is once again an exciting time to be a Xerox stakeholder.”
Darwin Deason issued the following statement about the agreement:
“The future for Xerox is extremely bright. With John Visentin at the helm, receiving support and guidance from Carl Icahn and me, I am confident the alternatives for Xerox and its shareholders will be fully and expeditiously maximised. John is the right leader at the right time for Xerox.”
The agreement between Xerox, Mr. Icahn and Mr. Deason will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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