Xerox Withdraws HP Offer
Xerox Points to COVID-19 for Withdrawn Offer
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic and its resulting economic uncertainty, Xerox announced they are withdrawing their tender offer to acquire HP. Moreover, Xerox will no longer be nominating new members to the HP Board of Directors, which was a crucial part of the company’s hostile takeover attempt.
The Xerox announcement states they are “prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of [their] employees, customers, partners and other stakeholders, and [their] broader response to the pandemic, over and above all other considerations.”
The press release goes on the jab at the HP board for refusing to “meaningfully engage” with Xerox, claiming their “continued delay tactics” have done a great disservice to HP stockholders.
HP’s Understated Response
In response, HP released a statement that only mentions Xerox once in referring to the company’s “unsolicited exchange offer and director nominations.”
HP spends the rest of the brief press release reaffirming their commitment to to their shareholders. The HP board pointedly assures them that their company has “a healthy cash position and balance sheet that enable [them] to navigate unanticipated challenges such as the global pandemic.” A much more subtle jab.
HP announced just two days later that they would be using that strong position to lean in on “arming partners with the support they need to weather operational and financial challenges of COVID-19.”