Xerox abandons $35 billion hostile bid for HP: sources

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Xerox is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid – RC15DA6446E0/File Photo

(Reuters) – Xerox Holdings Corp (XRX.N) decided on Tuesday to abandon its $35 billion hostile cash-and-stock bid for HP Inc (HPQ.N) after the coronavirus outbreak put the brakes on its takeover campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

The decision came after Xerox said earlier this month it would postpone meetings with HP shareholders to focus on coping with the coronavirus pandemic. It is a blow to billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns big stakes in both companies and had pushed for their merger.

Xerox’s board concluded that pursuing the takeover without having access to HP’s books, so that it could assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on HP’s business, would be too risky, the sources said.

Xerox was set to challenge HP’s board at the latter’s annual meeting of shareholders in May, but will now abandon this effort as well as its tender offer for HP’s shares, the sources added, requesting anonymity ahead of an official announcement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Xerox’s decision. Xerox and HP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and Sonya Hepinstall

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