Xerox is scrapping the proposed $6.1 billion takeover by Fujifilm Holdings Corp. in a settlement with activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason that also removes Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson from his position, along with five company directors. According to Xerox, Icahn Enterprises chief Keith Cozza will become chairman, while John Visentin — a former senior exec at Hewlett-Packard and IBM — will take over as CEO. Fujifilm disputes Xerox’s right to terminate the planned merger.
“Visentin had previously been hired by Icahn to assist in fighting Xerox,” notes Reuters. “He had also been a candidate under consideration by the old board to replace Jacobson as recently as last year, according to court documents.”
“The agreement leaves the two activist investors with a firmer handle on the company after a tumultuous boardroom battle,” reports Bloomberg. “Icahn and Deason, who opposed the transaction from the start as undervalued, must now find other bids or compel Fujifilm, which owns 75 percent of an office equipment joint venture with Xerox, to raise its offer substantially.”
“We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm,” said Icahn. “With that behind us and new shareholder-focused leadership in place, today marks a new beginning for Xerox.”