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Xerox announces termination of merger deal with Fujifilm
[SAN FRANCISCO] Xerox on Sunday announced it was terminating a proposed merger with Fujifilm, and appointing a new chief executive after entering into a settlement with activist shareholders who had contested the takeover.
In a statement on its website, Xerox cited "material deviations" in the audited financials of an existing joint venture known as Fuji Xerox that is controlled by Fujifilm.
The move follows a lawsuit by powerful shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason who have vigorously opposed the merger, which had been announced in January.
Xerox added that Jeff Jacobson had resigned from his role as the company's CEO, along with five board members who were replaced by five new members.
The new board will be chaired by Keith Cozza, who is the current CEO of Icahn Enterprises, while its new CEO is set to be John Visentin.
The board will immediately convene to "evaluate all strategic alternatives to maximise shareholder value".
Mr Icahn said: "We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm."
"With that behind us and new shareholder-focused leadership in place, today marks a new beginning for Xerox."
The conflict was the latest involving a big company and a high-profile shareholder activist, in this case Mr Icahn, a battle-tested billionaire who has aggressively challenged companies since the 1980s.
Mr Icahn and Mr Deason had in late April won a temporary injunction against the merger after a New York judge agreed the deal prioritised the interests of the Xerox CEO over that of the company's shareholders.