Activist investors dismantle Xerox-Fujifilm merger to hold out for an unlikely new buyer 

After months of maneuvering, activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason succeeded in destroying the $6.1B merger between Xerox and Fujifilm.


May 15, 2018

After years of boardroom bickering and months of public pissing-and-moaning, Xerox ‘activist’ investors toppled the $6.1B merger that Xerox inked with Fujifilm last January.

Masterminded by merger manipulators Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason (who together own 15.2% of the document diva), the cold feet came about due to Fuji-failure to fulfill demands for a higher stock price.

These activist investors are as active as they come 

Well-known activist investor (aka shareholder who leverages equity to change corporate management) Carl Icahn bought 7% stake in Xerox in 2015 — and challenged Xerox’s direction from the start.

With fellow merger mischief-maker Demon Deason, Icahn demanded old-guard board members step down, and insisted that Fujifilm merger terms (at $28 vs. Icahn’s desired $40) grossly undervalued the company.

In a confusing move last month, Icahn and Deason won a settlement to boot the Xerox CEO and swap out its board, but then decided against it 2 days later.

As it turns out, they were holding out for a bigger win — one where they tossed the board overboard and axed the Fuji agreement.

Fujifilm claims a deal’s a deal

The Japanese photo giant immediately threatened legal action against Xerox, claiming they didn’t have the right to terminate the finalized deal.

But under the terms of Icahn’s settlement, 5 Fuji-friendly board members at Xerox — including CEO Jeff Jacobsen — packed up their desks, leaving Fuji with little sway over a board of Icahn-spirators.

Let the bidding begin… again

Fujifilm and Xerox’s 6 decade-old joint venture — Fuji Xerox — would have combined with the normal Xerox under Fujifilm controlling ownership.

But now that the deal is off, the Icahn and Deason-directed company — whose shares fell as much as 10% following the announcement — is looking for new buyers.

Since there are few photocopy-fanatics out there likely to shell out for Icahn’s ambitious $40 stock price, the company may end up going back to Fujifilm after all — under “superior terms,” of course.

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