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Major Xerox investor sues to block takeover by Fujifilm

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Staff Writer | February 15, 2018
One of Xerox's biggest shareholders filed suit to challenge the US photocopier and printer maker's planned takeover by Japanese technology firm Fujifilm.
Fuji Xerox
Acquisition   Fujifilm would hold 50.1 percent of Fuji Xerox
Darwin Deason who along with Carl Icahn controls 15.2 percent of Xerox shares, filed suit against Xerox and Fujifilm, alleging fraud.

Xerox said the allegations are "without merit" and that it will "vigorously defend itself."

Under the planned deal, Xerox would be absorbed by an existing joint venture known as Fuji Xerox, falling under the control of Fujifilm, which until now held a 75 percent stake in the joint venture.

After the transaction is completed, Fujifilm would hold 50.1 percent of Fuji Xerox, compared with 49.9 percent for current Xerox shareholders, who also would receive a special cash dividend of $2.5 billion.

The Xerox board pushed for this deal even though, Deason said, it is not in the interest of the company or its shareholders.

The 77-year-old billionaire also said Xerox made a secret deal in 2001, allowing Fujifilm to exit the Fuji Xerox joint venture if Xerox were taken over by any investor other than the Japanese firm.

Deason argues this clause prevented the Xerox board from seeking another buyer and this in turn harmed the company's shareholders. Xerox said the suit was groundless.