Icahn, Deason call on Xerox to explore options, including sale: WSJ

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(Reuters) – Hedge fund investor Carl Icahn and another major owner of Xerox Corp stock, Darwin Deason, are pushing the digital print technology provider to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Icahn and Deason also want Xerox Chief Executive Jeff Jacobson to be removed from his position, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter. on.wsj.com/2EYCRHd

In a statement, Xerox said: “The Xerox Board of Directors and management are confident with the strategic direction in which the Company is heading and we will continue to take action to achieve our common goal of creating value for all Xerox shareholders.”

Icahn had earlier called for the termination or renegotiation of Xerox Corp’s long-running photocopier joint venture with Fujifilm Holdings Corp, reiterating demands for a change of leadership at Xerox.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Xerox company is seen on a building in Minsk, Belarus, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko/File Photo

“We are obviously in favor of renegotiating the joint venture agreement to make it more favorable for Xerox,” Icahn said in an open letter addressed to shareholders on Thursday.

Deason had asked the company to make public the terms of its deal with Fujifilm, which he called “one-sided.” Xerox described Deason’s criticism as “false and misleading.”

The five-decade-old joint venture, 75 percent-owned by Fujifilm and 25 percent by Xerox, is a pillar of Fujifilm’s business, accounting for nearly half the group’s overall operating profit. It has limited prospects for future growth, however, because of declining demand for office printing.

The reported operating profit of the joint venture, called Fuji Xerox, was about $750 million on sales of $10 billion in the year ended last March.

Fujifilm declined to comment on the WSJ report.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney