Fujifilm said it may back out of a proposed buyout of Xerox if the two sides cannot negotiate better terms, the film company’s CEO told investors, according to a Reuters report.
“I don’t have a specific deadline in mind, but it should normally be from several months to six months. If we have nothing by then, it can’t be helped,” CEO Shigetaka Komori told reporters in Tokyo Thursday morning, according to Reuters. These are his first public comments since Xerox abandoned its deal with Fuji in mid-May.
A spokeswoman later clarified this meant Fujifilm could end merger talks, Reuters said.
This is the latest salvo from Komori, who last month threatened to sue Xerox for stopping talks. So far the company has not made any legal moves.
On May 13, Xerox ousted CEO Jeff Jacobson and several board members to settle legal challenges mounted by activist investors Carl Ichan and Darwin Deason. They also rejected the terms of their deal with Fujifilm that would have seen the American icon surrender 50.1 percent control of the company in exchange for a $2.5 billion special dividend to shareholders.
Icahn’s preferred CEO, John Visentin, was given the corner office, and Deason withdrew lawsuits against Xerox and Fujifilm. Since then, Komori has threatened that Fujifilm would sue to block Xerox from backing out of the $6.1 billion merger that had been in the works for months. Xerox said that in early May it was unsuccessful in seeking better terms from Komori. Icahn and Deason had proposed a buyout that valued Xerox stock at $40 per share.
Fujifilm and Xerox did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday morning.
According to Reuters, Komori said Fujifilm is “not opposed to considering any new proposal from the new Xerox board if it’s beneficial for both firms,” but the $40 per share sought by Icahn and Deason is “too high”.