“We are not going to try to persuade Xerox" - Fujifilm chairman says the company’s alliance with Xerox will continue despite the legal fight over Fujifilm’s attempted takeover of the iconic US company.
|Fujifilm headquarters, Tokyo|
In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Fujifilm chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori said Fujifilm’s proposed acquisition of Xerox had become “difficult” and added: "We have no intention of sweetening the financial terms of the January acquisition plan. A large majority of Fujifilm shareholders object to an additional contribution.”
|Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori|
Nikkei reported that Komori “chose his words carefully but appeared to be on the verge of bowing to the inevitable.”
"We haven't given up on acquiring Xerox but we will not take the initiative at this point,” Komori said. “We are not going to try to persuade Xerox."
After Fujifilm won a legal decision in the case in October, Komori met Xerox CEO John Visentin in November 2018. Komori said the two shared the view that the companies can maintain their existing alliance.
Visentin had earlier threatened that Xerox could look for another supplier of printers and copiers, rather than continuing to source them from Fuji Xerox, Xerox’s 56-year-old joint venture with Fujifilm.
"Relations between Fujifilm and Xerox have been improving," Komori told Nikkei. "As a result of the talks, I could gain the understanding that current relations are good."
Komori said Fujifilm would be able to achieve growth by maintaining its existing alliance with Xerox. Fujifilm is now restructuring Fuji Xerox and has forecast a 55 billion yen ($US491m) profit for the financial year to March 2020.
"The outlook is bright even if we can't acquire Xerox," Komori said.
In January 2018, Xerox and Fujifilm agreed to a $6.1 billion proposal that would merge Xerox into joint venture Fuji Xerox, which Fujifilm would control with a 50.1 percent stake. Xerox walked away from the agreement after legal action by activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who said the deal undervalued the company. Fujifilm then sued Xerox for more than $1 billion for termination of the agreement.
"We are open to any proposals from Xerox," Komori said.