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US: Xerox CEO to resign in settlement with top shareholders

 |  May 2, 2018

The CEO of US photocopier and printer manufacturer Xerox is stepping down to end a battle with shareholders opposed to a planned takeover by Japan’s Fujifilm.

Major shareholders Darwin Deason and Carl Icahn, who together control 15.2% of Xerox’s shares, have vigorously opposed the takeover and have filed a suit to block it.

On Friday, April 27, a US court ordered a temporary block of the takeover, saying it prioritised the interest of Xerox’s CEO over its shareholders.

In a statement issued Tuesday in the US, Xerox said Jeff Jacobson would be replaced John Visentin as CEO, with Keith Cozza taking on his role as board chairman. Under the planned deal, Xerox would be absorbed by an existing joint venture known as Fuji Xerox, falling under the control of Fujifilm.

After the transaction is completed, Fujifilm would hold 50.1% of Fuji Xerox, while current Xerox shareholders would receive a special cash dividend of US$2.5 billion.

Deason and Icahn sued in February claiming a secret 2001 deal between Xerox and Fujifilm contained a clause that prevented the Xerox board from seeking another buyer, effectively shortchanging the company’s shareholders.

Six board members will step down along with Jacobson, and the newly formed board will “meet immediately to, among other things, begin a process to evaluate all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value,” Xerox announced.

Full Content: Fortune

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