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Xerox Adds New Director To Slate As It Tries To Win HP Shareholders

Erroll B. Davis, Jr., the former CEO of Alliant Energy Corporation, has served on the board of directors of Union Pacific, General Motors, PPG Industries and BP.

Xerox has added an executive with energy industry experience and higher education credentials to the slate it has put forward, hoping to replace the Hewlett Packard board that rejected its takeover offer last year.

Erroll B. Davis, Jr., the former CEO of Alliant Energy Corporation, has served on the board of directors of Union Pacific, General Motors, PPG Industries and BP. He is also the former chancellor of the University System of Georgia. He led Alliant as it was formed through the merger of WPL Holdings with two other public utility companies, Xerox said. Davis has years of experience with operations as well as mergers and acquisitions.

“Xerox has assembled an exceptional slate of nominees with extensive executive and board leadership experience,” Davis said in a statement issued by Xerox. “I am humbled to be part of this group and, if elected, look forward to serving HP stockholders and exploring all potential options to maximize HP’s long-term value.”

The slate of directors Xerox is putting forward at HP’s summer meeting now includes, Betsy Atkins, George Bickerstaff, Carolyn Byrd, Erroll B. Davis, Jr., Jeannie Diefenderfer, Kim Fennebresque, Carol Flaton, Matthew Hart, Fred Hochberg, Jacob Katz, Nichelle Maynard-Elliott and Thomas Sabatino, Jr.

“Today’s filing reflects continued progress towards a combination between Xerox and HP,” stated John Visentin, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox. “By nominating a slate of 12 independent, highly qualified candidates for election to HP’s Board, we are giving HP stockholders an opportunity to have a board that will act in their best interests and consider any and all opportunities to create value. We urge them to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Two weeks ago, HP CEO Enrique Lores had reached out to Visentin for further talks about a deal, however it doesn't appear to have materialized. On March 2, Xerox pushed ahead with its tender offer that asks all HP shareholders to sell their shares for $24 a piece.

Now, HP is reportedly looking into other acquisitions--potentially seeking to combine forces with companies besides Xerox. Due to the declines in print, Lores told the Financial Times that consolidation was “inevitable” however he seemed to not just include the deal with Xerox mentioning “other” opportunities.

On Thursday, the paper quoted Lores as saying that "there are other potential M&A [transactions] that we are constantly analyzing."

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