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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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HP's Leadership Is Stepping Up Its Criticism Of Xerox

While HP's board had previously accused Xerox of making an acquisition offer that "significantly undervalues HP," the company's leadership had stopped short of strongly criticizing Xerox's tactics in previous communications. That changed with HP's Sunday letter, which slams Xerox's approach to the takeover deal in several places.

In one place, HP's board says that "it is clear in your aggressive words and actions that Xerox is intent on forcing a potential combination on opportunistic terms and without providing adequate information." The letter later says Xerox is choosing to pursue a "hostile approach" rather than a "more productive path" that could result in a merger. The board concluded its letter by citing Xerox's "aggressive tactics" and "hostile gestures" in the takeover attempt.

Notably, activist investor Carl Icahn (pictured) has sizable ownership stakes in both Xerox (10.6 percent of shares) and HP (4.24 percent). Previously, Icahn was a central figure in dissolving Xerox's planned merger with Fujifilm in 2018 and installing Visentin—a longtime loyalist of the investor—as CEO of Xerox.

HP's board added that with Xerox's exit from its joint venture with Fujifilm—in which Xerox reaped $2.3 billion earlier this month—"it appears to us that … Xerox essentially mortgaged its future for a short-term cash infusion."

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