HP shareholders urged to push for Xerox merger

Calls HP's standalone restructuring plan as "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic"
  • Reuters (ARN)
  • 05 December, 2019 11:00

Activist investor Carl Icahn has urged the shareholders of HP Inc who agree with the merger with Xerox Holdings Corp to reach out to the personal computer maker's directors for immediate action.

Calling HP's standalone restructuring plan as "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic", Icahn said in a letter that the company's refusal could be a delaying tactic to hold the "lucrative" positions of its executives.

"HP shareholders deserve the opportunity to decide for themselves whether a combination with Xerox makes sense before the idea is summarily rejected by HP's board," Icahn said.

Icahn, who has 10.85 per cent stake in Xerox and 4.24 per cent in HP, said the combination could yield over US$2 billion in cost savings.

"The combination of HP and Xerox is one of the most obvious no-brainers I have ever encountered in my career," he said.

Xerox made the US$33.5 billion cash-and-stock offer to HP, a company more than three times its size, on Nov. 5. HP rebuffed Xerox's offer, saying it was open to exploring its own bid for the U.S. printer maker.

Shares of HP were up about 1.6 per cent and Xerox about 0.7 per cent.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)