Xerox CEO quits in settlement with shareholders over Fujifilm deal

(Reuters) – Xerox Corp (XRX.N) said its CEO and several board members will step down to settle a suit brought by activist shareholders who had opposed a $6.1 billion deal with Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings (4901.T).

The logo of Xerox company is seen on a building in Minsk, Belarus, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason had led a battle over a deal to combine the U.S. company into an existing joint venture, Fuji Xerox.

Chief Executive Jeff Jacobson and six other board members agreed to step down as part of an agreement to resolve the pending proxy battle, Xerox said in a statement.

Xerox’s current board said in a statement that after shareholder 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, the statement added.

The new board of directors plans to meet immediately to evaluate strategic alternatives which include terminating or restructuring Xerox’s relationship with Fujifilm and the proposed transaction with Fujifilm.

The two companies had sought to gain scale and cut costs as demand for office printing equipment declines. But the shareholders argued the deal undervalued Xerox, and that Jacobson had pursued a deal with Fujifilm even after the board advised him to halt negotiations.

A representative for Fujifilm could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru, Alison Frankel and Liana Baker in New York, and Ritsuko Ando in Tokyo; Editing by Edwina Gibbs



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