Episode 4 – Xerox board walks away from Fujifilm deal

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Episode 4 – Xerox board walks away from Fujifilm deal
Keith Cozza

The Fujifilm takeover of Xerox, which was proposed in January 2018, and contested by investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason in the courts, is off. Xerox said the deal was being terminated because of Fujifilm’s failure to enter into negotiations on improved terms. The former board of Xerox said in a statement released on 13 May 2018, “Over the past several weeks, the Xerox Board has repeatedly requested that Fujifilm immediately enter into negotiations on improved terms for a proposed transaction. Despite our insistence, Fujifilm provided no assurance that it will do so within an acceptable timeframe.”

Fujifilm currently owns 75% of Fuji Xerox, a joint venture launched more than 50 years ago. Under the proposed deal announced in January, Fuji Xerox would buy back that stake from Fujifilm for around US$ 6.1 billion and Fujifilm would use those proceeds to buy 50.1% of new Xerox shares.

Former CEO and board member Jeff Jacobsen has resigned and five new board members, nominated by Icahn and Deason, have joined the new board including incoming chairman Keith Cozza and John Visentin as chief executive officer. The two investors, who together control about 13% of Xerox stock, have said they would be willing to consider any offers for the company of US$ 40 a share or more.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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