The Wall Street Journal earlier reported Xerox and Fujifilm to be nearing a deal that would see the American corporate giant ceding control to the Japanese company, citing people familiar with the matter. The new company will keep headquarters both in the USA and Japan. Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson has been tapped to lead the newly-formed entity, which will also be named Fuji Xerox. Fujifilm will then use those proceeds to purchase 50.1% of new Xerox shares.
Xerox and Fujifilm have a 55-year-old joint venture-Fuji Xerox Co.in Asia. The companies will each maintain their brands, they said.
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"Upon careful consideration of all alternatives available to the company, the Board of Directors concluded that this combination is clearly the best path to create value for our shareholders", Xerox Chairman Robert J. Keegan said in Wednesday statement.
Fuji Xerox has been struggling as the world moves toward paperless offices. The new Fuji Xerox will be well-positioned to lead in growing areas such as high-speed inkjet, packaging, industrial print and workplace automation, as well as future development opportunities in artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and augmented reality.
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Total annual cost savings of $1.7 billion are expected by 2022, representing about 10% of total cost base of the combined Fuji Xerox, with approximately $1.2 billion of the total cost savings expected to be achieved by 2020. "It's going to be a big year for apps and partners building on Xerox's app platform".
Xerox had also been under pressure from activist shareholder Carl Icahn, the company's largest shareholder, who demanded the US stakeholder alter or end its joint venture with Fujifilm. The combined company's Board of Directors will include 12 members, seven of whom will be appointed by the Fujifilm Board. Icahn is Xerox's greatest investor, with a 9.72 percent stake.
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