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5 Things To Know About A Potential Xerox-HP Deal: ‘The Copier King And The Printer King Combined’

For an industry that is in desperate need of a paradigm shift, nearly every corner of the market welcomed a rumored deal that would see surging Xerox acquire struggling HP.

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Xerox Steadily Climbing

After years of declines in stock price and reputation, Xerox under CEO John Visentin (pictured) has been steadily rising. First, he killed the Fujifilm deal, offering up nothing to the Japanese company, even when threatened with a $1 billion lawsuit. He turned the Fuji Xerox partnership to his advantage, threatening not to renew the deal -- which would have resulted in Fuji Xerox losing its biggest customer. That ultimately resulted in Fujifilm taking full ownership of the joint venture, and paying Xerox more than $2 billion for a 25 percent stake that was only set to generate $100 million this year. He also kept the supply agreement intact, but now has flexibility to work with other providers in the region.

The CEO unveiled a three-year plan in February to return the company to growth. He has targeted inefficiency at the legacy copier icon with “Project Own It” that makes executives more accountable for their divisions, and he streamlined the corporate structure to make it more responsive to the market.

As one industry executive said, “These are smart people. These are people who see the world as it is and can meet it on its terms. They are head and shoulders above anyone who has run Xerox before. I don’t think anyone saw this HP deal coming, but if anyone can pull it off it’s Icahn.”

Xerox shares are up 84 percent this year, trading this morning $37.54, a price it has not approached since 2014.

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