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HP Slams Xerox For Going 'Hostile': 5 Things To Know

The new letter from HP's board includes revelations about HP's declining interest in a merger with Xerox and HP's financial concerns about the Xerox proposal.

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Prelude To A Proxy Battle?

HP Inc. and Xerox are now officially engaged in a war of words over Xerox's $33 billion HP takeover bid. Last Thursday, Xerox CEO John Visentin threatened to take the acquisition offer directly to HP shareholders. On Sunday, HP responded with its most sharply worded criticism of Xerox's approach thus far. "We will not let aggressive tactics or hostile gestures distract us from our responsibility to pursue the most value-creating path," HP's board of directors said in a letter to Visentin, which was posted online and signed by HP CEO Enrique Lores and Board Chairman Chip Bergh.

In his letter to HP's board, Visentin had given a deadline of Monday at 5 p.m., Eastern Time, to agree to mutual “confirmatory due diligence to support a friendly combination." After that, Visentin said Xerox would take the case directly to HP shareholders. HP's response thus sets the stage for a potential proxy battle between the two companies.

Along with criticism of Xerox's approach, however, the new letter from HP's board includes revelations about HP's declining interest in a merger with Xerox and HP's financial concerns about the Xerox proposal. Xerox did not respond to a request for comment.

What follows are five key things to know about HP's latest response to Xerox.

 
 
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