Fujifilm CEO Still Interested in Xerox, But Won’t Raise Offer

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Fujifilm Chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori

The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Fujiflm of Tokyo, Japan, is continuing its attempts to acquire Xerox after the Xerox board called off a $6.1 billion acquisition in May – but the Japanese company has denied it will make “any compromise” even if it fails.

Newly appointed Xerox CEO John Visentin stated recently that the acquisition of Xerox by Fujilm won’t happen, but that all offers for Xerox would be presented to the Xerox board. Visentin also recently ruled out a public auction for Xerox, noting that an auction would be costly and time-consuming.

Last week, Fujifilm Chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori told the Nikkei Asian Review that the acquisition of Fuji Xerox is “not indispensable” for Fujifilm’s growth. “We would not go as far as to raise our terms of acquisition, set in January, to realize the deal.”

Last week, Xerox’s Visentin also said that Xerox may not renew its Technology Agreement with Fuji Xerox when it expires in 2021, and that it’s also considering other product suppliers. Visentin has also suggested that Xerox might expand from selling in North Xerox and Europe to selling in Asia-Pacific – a region where Fuji Xerox has sold printers and copiers. In return, Fujilm’s Komori has said Fujifilm might expand selling into Xerox terroritory in North America and Europe. Xerox owns 25 percent of Fuji Xerox, with Fujifilm owning the remainder; the TA stipulates office-equipment procurement and marketing areas.

“It will be better if we can buy Xerox” Komori said. But the acquisition “is not an indispensable strategy.”

“Fujifilm can grow without the acquisition, which does not mean we will lose our future,” Komori said, with the Nikkei Asian Review suggesting that this indicates that Fujilm “may give up on the buyout bid.”

Komori said he believes activist Xerox investor Carl Icahn and others believe Fujilim “will succumb under their pressure and offer terms more favorable to them.”

“But I make it clear that we will offer no more terms than what we have done. The terms we offered in January are the ceiling,” Komori said.

Komori again pointed out that Xerox has no sales network in the Asia-Pacific region. He also noted that Fujifilm has sold office equipment in the United States and Europe through Fuji Xerox, and it has sales routes there gained from selling other products.

“They (Xerox) will be in trouble if they review the (TA) partnership,” Komori said. Fujifilm has also filed a $1 billion breach-of-contract lawsuit against Xerox for terminating the $6.1 billion acquisition deal.

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