In a self-congratulatory statement, Carl Icahn compared the Xerox/Fujifilm story to television dramas like House of Cards and Billions. Certainly the whole thing has its share of twists and turns. Two days after dumping its CEO and board members, the company announced that its leadership is staying put for now.
“Xerox and its Board of Directors recognize the uncertainty caused by the developments of the past several days among the company’s investors and other stakeholders,” the company wrote in a statement issued last night. “The Xerox Board and management team remain focused on driving continued improvement in financial and operational performance, and will consider all options to create value for the company and its shareholders.”
Activist investors Icahn and Darwin Deason, who collectively control around 15 percent of Xerox stock, have been very vocal in their opposition to a merger with Fujifilm. The pact between Xerox and two of its three largest investors expired a mere 48 hours after being struck, but Icahn, unsurprisingly, has promised to continue the fight.
“The Xerox board recklessly refused to follow through with the leadership and governance changes we agreed to, demanding unprecedented additional approvals for their own personal self-interest,” Icahn said in a statement. “We will continue our fight to rescue and revitalize Xerox.”
All of this while a judge in New York has temporarily blocked the takeover plan, courtesy of a suit from Deason. Xerox followed up the executive reinstatement announcement with news of an appeal filed against the block.
“Xerox strongly believes that the decision is contrary to well-established New York law vesting the Board of Directors of Xerox with the business judgment to enter into the transaction agreement with Fujifilm and that the decision to approve should rest with Xerox’s shareholders, not the Court,” the company said in a follow-up statement.