Xerox terminates merger agreement with Fujifilm

The logo of Xerox company is seen on a building in Minsk Belarus

Xerox called off a $6.1 billion takeover by Fujifilm Holdings and parted ways with its chief executive officer, handing a major victory to activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason.

Xerox said last evening that its long-time Japanese partner had failed to deliver audited financials, limiting its ability to consummate the transaction.

Icahn and Deason have said they believe other investors are "waiting in the wings" for Xerox while people familiar with the matter have previously said that buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC APO.N has expressed interest in a bid for Xerox.

In an agreement with the two investors, which together own about 13% of Xerox (xrx), the USA office equipment supplier said CEO Jeff Jacobson will step down along with several other board members. The American company and the two shareholders had already reached a settlement earlier this month before it fell apart days later before it could be implemented.

Icahn and Deason own 15% of the USA tech firm. "Despite our insistence, Fujifilm provided no assurance that it will do so within an acceptable timeframe", Xerox's former board said in a statement.

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Fujifilm officials were not immediately available for comment. He was hired back in March by Icahn and Deason as a consultant in their campaign to try and block the Fuji deal. The Xerox Board believes that the transaction can not 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 activist investors have also said they are unhappy with the current structure of the joint venture, and settlement creates uncertainty concerning potential changes to a business that accounts for almost half of Fujifilm's revenue.

Xeroz has also reportedly appointed several new directors, said to provide Icahn greater control of the company.

"We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm", Icahn said in a statement. In a lawsuit aimed at stopping the merger, Mr. Deason accused Mr. Jacobson of striking the deal to keep a job at the combined company. "With that behind us and new shareholder-focused leadership in place, today marks a new beginning for Xerox".

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