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September 16, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Xerox CEO aims to cut ties with Fujifilm Holdings

Xerox Corp. responded to the $1 billion lawsuit filed by Fujifilm Holdings over the termination of their $6.1 billion acquisition deal by denigrating the Japanese company and announcing that it would be seeking new partners in the Asia-Pacific market.

John Visentin

John Visentin, CEO and vice chairman of Norwalk-headquartered Xerox, sent a letter to Fujifilm Chairman Shigetaka Komori that blamed the Japanese company for the collapse of the acquisition deal.

“Fujifilm should realize that the internal accounting issues at Fuji Xerox were a result of their mismanagement, which made it impossible to close the announced transaction,” Visentin wrote. “We cannot stand by and let them further harm our iconic brand. The lawsuit is nothing more than a desperate and misguided negotiating ploy to save their takeover attempt, which to this day remains enjoined by order of the New York State Supreme Court, and could take our focus away from serving our customers.”

Visentin added that his company would be distancing itself from Fujifilm Holdings and the companies’ longstanding Fuji Xerox joint venture and would begin exploring new partnerships on the far side of the Pacific.

“Fujifilm’s actions have forced us to move forward on several fronts to protect our supply chain,” he continued. “First, we will start, in a material way, to source products from new vendors. Second, we will build partnerships with companies that are aligned with the Xerox mission to provide world-class technology and solutions. Third, we currently believe Xerox will be much better served by not renewing our technology agreement with Fuji Xerox when it expires. We will detail for our shareholders the enormous opportunity for Xerox to sell products directly into the growing Asia-Pacific market with sole and exclusive use of the valuable Xerox name and a more efficient, better managed supply chain than exists with Fuji Xerox today.”

Visentin, who was appointed to the Fuji Xerox board of directors two weeks ago, became Xerox’s CEO with the support of Xerox shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who successfully opposed the Fujifilm acquisition. In announcing its lawsuit against Xerox last week, Fujifilm charged that the deal was terminated due to “the whims of activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who, notwithstanding their minority ownership of Xerox shares, have yanked the Xerox board in more directions than can be counted.”