Xerox sells Fuji Xerox stake to Fujifilm to end stoush
The long running dispute between Fuji Xerox joint owners Fujifilm and Xerox, which erupted last year over a proposed $6bn merger, has ended with the two companies agreeing a way forward.
Xerox is selling its 25 per cent stake in Fuji Xerox to Fujifilm, with Fujifilm agreeing to drop its $1bn lawsuit against Xerox over the failed merger bid. The merger was scuppered by the two biggest Xerox shareholders, who own 15 per cent of the company and thought it was worth more than Fujifilm wanted to pay.
It cost then Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson his job; he has since taken the reins at EFI, at the behest of the private equity fund which acquired the business through a leveraged buyout.
Fujifilm will pay Xerox $2.3bn to take 100 per cent of the Fuji Xerox business, which is the Xerox distribution business in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific. Fuji Xerox will now operate as a wholly owned subsidisary of Fujifilm, and will continue to supply Xerox branded products. Both Fujifilm and Xerox manufacture for Fuji Xerox; the top selling Iridesse Production Press is manufactured in Japan.
Xerox will use the $2.3bn to pay down its $550m debt, acquire businesses, and pay shareholders. The deal is subject to full board approval by both companies, but is expected to go through later this month. It brings to an end one of the biggest corporate stoushes in the print industry.
“This transaction is an ideal next step for Fuji Xerox and Fujifilm that we believe serves our stakeholders well and reflects our commitment to create innovative products that contribute to society,” said Shigetaka Komori, chairman and CEO of Fujifilm.
“Fuji Xerox has now become a lean and strong company after a series of reforms we started in 2018, and I am confident that with this initiative it will be even stronger.
“Full ownership of Fuji Xerox will facilitate faster decision making in a rapidly changing business environment. At the same time, Fuji Xerox will be able to further strengthen its business by capturing new OEM opportunities in the global market, leveraging our world-leading product development and manufacturing capabilities. We are excited to start a new chapter for Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox.”