Printing and imaging solutions vendor Xerox, has called off its bid to buy HP Inc, dashing a public and private courtship that had been in the works for more than half a year, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the story in November that Xerox was angling for a minnow-swallows-the-whale, heavily leveraged buyout of the four-times larger HP – recently reported that the coronavirus pandemic has finally forced the copier to abandon its effort, citing people familiar with the matter.
In a statement, Xerox blamed its dropped offer on the fallout from the novel coronavirus. The offer was originally comprised of $18.40 in cash and 0.149 Xerox shares for each HP share. The previous offer, made last November, was originally $17 in cash per share and 0.137 shares of Xerox.
“The current global health crisis and resulting macroeconomic and market turmoil caused by COVID-19 have created an environment that is not conducive to Xerox continuing to pursue an acquisition of HP Inc,” Xerox said in a statement. “We are withdrawing our tender offer to acquire HP and will no longer seek to nominate our slate of highly qualified candidates to HP’s board of directors.”
Also scrapped was the slate of 12 directors that Xerox had assembled with the hopes of getting them elected by HP shareholders this summer.