Xerox plans on nominating the 11 candidates during HP’s annual stockholders meeting as a way to get approval for its plan to buy the PC maker. However, HP has been opposing the proposed merger, claiming it’ll bad for business.
Xerox is launching the company’s hostile takeover of HP by proposing to replace the PC maker’s board of directors with its own slate of candidates.
Xerox plans on nominating the 11 candidates during HP’s annual stockholders meeting, which usually takes place in April. If shareholders elect them, the new board will presumably clear the way for Xerox to buy up the PC maker for $33.5 billion.
“HP shareholders have told us they believe our acquisition proposal will bring tremendous value, which is why we lined up $24 billion in binding financing commitments and a slate of highly qualified director candidates,” Xerox CEO John Visentin said in Thursday’s announcement.
Last year, Xerox began pushing for an HP acquisition, claiming the proposed merger would help save both companies $2 billion over the next 24 months. How this would benefit consumers is less clear. But Xerox says the cost savings could lead to increased R&D investment.
However, HP’s leadership believes the merger is a bad idea. The company’s existing board of directors has pointed to Xerox’s sagging revenue and the printer maker’s recent decision to sell off its stake in Fujifilm as cause for concern. (For reference, HP’s revenue in fiscal 2018 was $58.5 billion while Xerox’s was a mere $9.8 billion.)
In response to the hostile takeover bid, HP said: “We believe these nominations are a self-serving tactic by Xerox to advance its proposal, that significantly undervalues HP and creates meaningful risk to the detriment of HP shareholders.”
The PC maker went on to say HP can “drive sustinable long-term value” by sticking with the company’s strategic plan and embarking on other “value-creating” mergers and acquisitions as opposed to a tie-up with Xerox. HP also went on to claim Xerox’s hostile take over bid was actually about investor Carl Icahn trying to maximize his profits.
“We believe that Xerox’s proposal and nominations are being driven by Carl Icahn, and his large ownership position in Xerox means that his interests are not aligned with those of other HP shareholders,” HP said in a statement. “Due to Mr. Icahn’s ownership position, he would disproportionately benefit from an acquisition of HP by Xerox at a price that undervalues HP.”
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