Xerox Axes $6 Billion Fujifilm Sale, Shuffles Leadership
Recent reports reveal Xerox has called off its controversial US$6.1 billion sale to Japanese-based Fujifilm, after agreeing to give control to ‘rebellious’ activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason.
The decision ends a tumultuous and long-running battle between Icahn, Deason and Xerox, and will see to see the departure of five board members including CEO, Jeff Jacobson.
Icahn and Deason are known for vocally criticising Xerox’s leadership team, specifically its decision to allegedly erode shareholder value, by entering into a deal with Japanese Fujifilm.
Together, Icahn and Deason reportedly own over a tenth of the ~US$8 billion company.
The US photocopier and printer manufacturer affirm Fujifilm failed to provide audited financials in an “acceptable” timeframe, therefore impairing its ability to finalise the transaction.
“The transaction cannot reasonably be expected to be completed under these circumstances, particularly given the court’s injunction of the transaction and the lack of shareholder support for the transaction on current terms, as well as the unresolved accounting issues at Fuji Xerox,” the company asserts in a statement.
Former Xerox CEO, Jeff Jacobson, is set to be replaced by Ex-IBM and Hewlett-Packard executive, John Visentin, whilst Icahn Enterprises’ Keith Cozza has been named Board Chairman.
Xeroz has also reportedly appointed several new directors, said to provide Icahn greater control of the company.
The original deal sought to merge Xerox with a joint-venture Fujifilm operated entity, providing Fuji with majority control.
As previously reported, last year Fujifilm discovered accounting irregularities within two subsidiaries of its joint-venture Fuji Xerox Australia New Zealand operations.