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Xerox not backing down on HP bid

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Xerox is not giving up as yet on its quest to take control of multinational IT company HP.

The company announced yesterday that it is filing a preliminary proxy statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in support of its slate of independent candidates to replace HP’s board of directors.

The mooted board overhaul is expected at HP’s 2020 annual meeting of stockholders.

Last week, the HP board announced that after consultation with its independent financial and legal advisors, a decision was reached to decline Xerox’s unsolicited offer.

For months, the companies have been playing a cat-and-mouse game, with Xerox aggressively pushing for a takeover, which the HP board has been reluctant to accept.

HP previously accused the document management technology firm of overstating synergies, although it believed there was merit in industry consolidation.

Yesterday, in a statement, Xerox said following the expansion of HP’s board slate from 11 to 12 members, it had provided notice to HP that it is adding Erroll B Davis, Jr, former chairman and chief executive officer of Alliant Energy Corporation, to its existing slate of director nominees.

John Visentin, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox, said: “Today’s [Monday’s] filing reflects continued progress towards a combination between Xerox and HP.

“By nominating a slate of 12 independent, highly-qualified candidates for election to HP’s board, we are giving HP stockholders an opportunity to have a board that will act in their best interests and consider any and all opportunities to create value. We urge them to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Xerox said Davis has extensive public company director experience, having served on the board of directors of Union Pacific, General Motors, PPG Industries and BP.

Commenting on his nomination, Davis said: “Xerox has assembled an exceptional slate of nominees, with extensive executive and board leadership experience. I am humbled to be part of this group and, if elected, look forward to serving HP stockholders and exploring all potential options to maximise HP’s long-term value.”

Xerox’s slate now comprises 12 director candidates, including: Betsy Atkins, George Bickerstaff, Carolyn Byrd, Erroll B Davis, Jr, Jeannie Diefenderfer, Kim Fennebresque, Carol Flaton, Matthew Hart, Fred Hochberg, Jacob Katz, Nichelle Maynard-Elliott and Thomas Sabatino, Jr.

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