The nasty breakup between Xerox Corp. and Fujifilm Holdings got a bit nastier as Fujifilm Chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori offered a harsh response to a June 25 letter by Xerox Vice Chairman and CEO John Visentin that blamed the Japanese company for the collapse of their $6.1 billion acquisition deal.
In his response, Komori took umbrage with Visentin’s assertion that Xerox terminated the deal “with the reason that Fujifilm committed material breach,” adding that the acquisition agreement was “fairly negotiated at arms’ length by sophisticated parties and were unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Xerox and Fujifilm.” Komori stated that it was “Xerox that first approached us with the proposed transaction” and claimed that the acquisition deal was beneficial to the Norwalk-headquartered company “given the shrinkage of market and low market shares of Xerox in your territories.”
Although Komori insisted to Visentin that he did not “intend to dignify every misstatement in your letter with a response,” he nonetheless addressed what he categorized as Visentin’s “outrageous mischaracterizations of the past accounting issues at Fuji Xerox.” He also issued a warning against Visentin’s announcement that Xerox would pursue the Asia-Pacific market without Fujifilm as a partner.
“As for your stated intent to not renew the technology agreement in 2021 and conduct business in the Asia-Pacific market, we are prepared to respond by competing with Xerox here in Asia-Pacific and by marketing in territory where Xerox is currently doing business unchallenged by us, such as America and Europe,” he wrote. “While Xerox presently has no marketing facilities here in Asia-Pacific, we have global infrastructure that we can utilize for marketing worldwide. Accordingly, we believe it would be enormously costly and difficult for Xerox to gain business in Asia-Pacific.”
Komori closed his letter with a rebuke of what he perceived as Visentin’s bad manners. “Lastly, I need to point out that you did not attend Fuji Xerox’s annual shareholders’ meeting and board meeting on June 20, in spite of the fact that you were to be elected as a new director of the board of Fuji Xerox at the meeting,” he continued. “Your letter was sent without any prior communication from you and was actually publicized before it even reached me. This is impolite and wrong, and I hope our communications will be in a more respectful manner going forward.”
Xerox, which is being sued by Fujifilm for $1 billion over the termination of the acquisition deal, had no immediate response to Komori’s letter.