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Xerox, Fujifilm announce $6.1 billion deal; Xerox cedes controlling stake

Xerox and Fujifilm have announced deal to combine Fuji Xerox Joint Venture with Xerox. (WHAM photo)

On Wednesday, Xerox announced its deal with Fujifilm that will give Fujifilm more than half of the combined company.

The statement on the Xerox web site says Xerox shareholders will "receive a $2.5 billion special cash dividend, or approximately $9.80 per share[1], and 49.9% of the combined company; Fujifilm to own 50.1%." It combines the previous Fuji Xerox Joint Venture with Xerox.

Fortune and Bloomberg have reported Fujifilm plans to cut 10,000 jobs at its Xerox joint venture.

The statement says the combined company will be headquartered in both Norwalk, Connecticut and Minato, Tokyo, Japan and will "maintain the iconic 'Xerox' and 'Fuji Xerox' brands within its respective operating regions."

More information could come later Wednesday morning during an 8 a.m. Xerox conference call for investors.

Reports of Xerox and Fujifilm being in talks with one another had been swirling since early January. The Wall Street Journal reported that a possible deal between the two companies would result in a change in control of Xerox. Less than two weeks later, the Journal reported key investors were calling for a sale and the removal of Xerox’s CEO. The Wednesday morning statement said CEO Jeff Jacobson will serve as chief executive officer of the new Fuji Xerox.

Last week, the company announced it negotiated an early termination of its lease in downtown Rochester. Several hundred employees will be transitioned into the company’s Webster campus.

Xerox spokesperson Bill McKee said the company employs 36,100 people worldwide, with 18,800 of those in the U.S.

"Both companies will continue to be separate, independent organizations and will operate business as usual until the close of the transaction," McKee said. "There is no immediate impact locally."

Former employees are among those reacting to the news. Mark Palmer, now an adjunct professor at RIT's Saunders School, spent 36 years at the company before retiring in 2017. He says the company anticipated the coming digital revolution.

"We caught wind of that pretty early, that the digital world was going to surpass the ink on paper world that we were living in," said Palmer. "So we began to transition our products to digital technologies."

Yet few anticipated how rapidly electronic sharing of information via the internet, emails and texts would come into play.

"If you think of the idea that you can take a photo of a piece of paper with your phone and send it to someone, maybe you don't need a copier," said Brighton Securities' George Conboy. "Maybe you don't need a scanner."

Yet industry watchers say the demand for digital printing will grow and provide opportunity. Palmer agrees.

"Something needed to happen in order for us to really exploit and take advantage of more advanced print technologies and have sustainable growth," he said.

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