US digital documents products provider Xerox Holdings Corporation is getting aggressive in its attempt to merge with US tech firm HP. The company's latest hostile attempt now involves the nomination of new directors of its choosing to replace HP's current board during its upcoming shareholder's meeting.
Xerox announced the new strategy on Thursday, stating that it has been forced to go this route following HP's rejection of its previous offers. For the past few months, Xerox has been attempting to take over HP, with the latter rejecting both offers previously made by Xerox.
In the last rejection, HP stated that Xerox's proposals significantly undervalue the company and that accepting such terms would be detrimental to its shareholders. HP also explained that it is understandably concerned with Xerox's current business strategy, noting that the company had reported a decline in revenues for 2019.
Xerox CEO John Visentin mentioned in a statement released on Thursday that combining the two companies would be greatly beneficial for both firms as it would greatly reduce costs and increase earnings. The executive explained his company's strategy of forcing a merger by voting for a new slate of "independent directors" that understand how the deal would become a win-win situation.
Following Visentin's statement, HP issued its own response calling Xerox's strategy nothing more than a "self-serving tactic" to advance its agenda. If Xerox is successful with its plan to replace HP's existing board of directors, then a merger will undoubtedly occur. However, the deal will be somewhat complicated given the difference in scale between both companies.
HP is currently three times the size of Xerox in terms of market value. HP is currently worth more than $32 billion, while Xerox has a valuation of less than $8 billion. In order to take over the company, Xerox had previously revealed that it has secured up to $24 billion in financing. The company also expects an additional $2.5 billion in cash if it sells various stakes from its former businesses.
Both HP and Xerox have had substantial success from their printing business, but the industry has someone been affected by the changing times and rapid digitalization. While HP does have a sizable business, fewer customers are now buying its products as more and more people prefer to use their smartphones and other gadgets to view documents. This is also the same case with Xerox's products. Last year, HP announced that it would be cutting more than 7,000 jobs over the next two years.
Over the past quarters, both companies have experienced dwindling earnings. For this reason, some industry experts have stated that a merger would make a lot of sense as it would greatly improve both companies' bottom lines via multiple operational synergies.