Investors Fight Fuji Xerox Deal
Icahn & Deason Aren’t Giving Up
Activist investors, Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, continue their opposition of the proposed $6.1 billion Fuji Xerox takeover. Xerox leadership has been in increasing conflict with the duo and it seems an unlikely coincidence that this deal protecting Xerox executives was struck a few weeks after Icahn called so loudly for their removal.
In response to this move, Deason filed a lawsuit in New York on February 13th to prevent the sale to Fujifilm. In addition, Icahn launched a proxy fight to block the deal and released another open letter with Deason urging Xerox shareholders to “not let Fuji steal [Xerox] from us,” as the two investors put it, “without spending a penny.”
The investors released yet another joint statement, insisting that the board is giving Xerox away for “a bowl of porridge” and calling for Xerox to break the agreement. They claim to not be opposed to an eventual deal with Fujifilm, provided that Xerox plays the field for the best offer.
Xerox responded with a sharp rebuke, stating that the latest letter is “consistent with their misguided campaign to undermine Xerox’s combination with Fuji Xerox.” The statement went on to reassert that “the combination with Fuji Xerox is clearly the superior path forward for Xerox.”
Additionally, Deason sought to “nominate a full slate of directors to Xerox Corp’s board at the company’s upcoming annual meeting, despite missing a deadline for putting forth directors,” according to Reuters. Deason argues that since the “current board had made a series of significant decisions and disclosures material to stockholders after the deadline,” the deadline’s validity has been compromised. It is unclear at this point whether this attempt will be recognized in the annual meeting in May.
What is clear is that Icahn and Deason won’t go down quietly.