Xerox mothballs HP offer

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Xerox is hitting the pause button on its bid to acquire HP Inc.

Xerox CEO John Visentin, has said that the company does not consider the recent stock market decline, or the two tripped circuit breakers on March 10 and March 12, to be an obstacle to its proposed acquisition of HP Inc.

But the company said in light of preparations underway to protect its employees and business partners from the coronavirus pandemic, it would not be prudent to focus on the deal.

“In light of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, Xerox needs to prioritise the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations, including its proposal to acquire HP,” Visentin said in a statement. “As we closely monitor reports from government and healthcare leaders across the globe and work with colleagues in the business community to minimise the spread and impact of the virus, we believe it is prudent to postpone releases of additional presentations, interviews with media and meetings with HP shareholders so we can focus our time and resources on protecting Xerox’s various stakeholders from the pandemic.”

Xerox, which is partially funding the $24-per-share takeover price for HP with shares in its own company, had its own stock price fall 14.15% to $23.90 on March 19, 2020. That is a 37-percent tumble since February 12, 2020 when shares closed at $38.19. The copier maker’s market cap lost $3.04bn, falling from $8.12bn a month ago to $5.08bn at yesterday’s close.

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