new York In the US, two IT groups want to join forces. Like the printer and PC manufacturer HP confirmed, has the traditional Kopiererkonzern Xerox submitted an offer to the company. The price should be according to a media report at about 32.5 billion dollars (about 29.4 billion euros).
“We have had frequent discussions with Xerox about a possible merger. We considered what it would take to make such a merger worthwhile, “HP said, confirming that there was a formal offer. HP has not made a decision yet.
Xerox has offered $ 22 per HP share, the financial broadcaster CNBC reported on Thursday, citing in veiled circles. The offer would be equivalent to a premium of 12.4 percent on the recent closing price. However, the prospect of a takeover has already allowed the price to rise sharply.
What's special about the proposed acquisition: Xerox would swallow a company that makes six times more revenue than it does. On the stock exchange Xerox comes just to eight billion dollars, while HP is valued at more than $ 28 billion.
According to CNBC, Xerox plans to pay the purchase price at 77 percent in cash and 23 percent in treasury shares. If the deal comes off, HP shareholders would hold 48 percent of the new company.
It is still unclear how the copy specialist from Connecticut wants to finance the takeover at all. $ 2.3 billion will come from the sale of the Xerox stake in a joint venture with Fujifilm. But that's not enough. According to the news agency Bloomberg Citigroup to provide the $ 20 billion that Xerox would need to swallow HP.
“Financing debts from HP for 30 billion could be a real challenge for Xerox, but not an insurmountable obstacle,” writes Robert Schiffman, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.
Similarly, the situation Jeriel Ong, analyst of German bank, Ong called the acquisition “unlikely but not financially impossible”. As a reason, he mentions the size difference between the two companies involved.
Carl Icahn interferes
Don Bilson of Research House Gordon Haskett called the possible purchase “daring”. He also pointed out that activist investor Carl Icahn holds more than 10 percent of Xerox. So it may well be that Icahn is behind the deal, which increases the chances that he might actually come off.
“We believe that Icahn is also already on the other side – at HP – is active,” said Bilson. There is still no evidence for that. “But he could pull the strings on both sides,” Bilson points out.
He has already proved that Icahn does not want to keep quiet with his participation in Xerox: he controls three posts on the Supervisory Board. When Xerox sold 50.1 percent to the Japanese company Fujifilm for $ 6.1 billion at the beginning of last year, Icahn called for Xerox's management to step down and the entire deal to be reversed.
More than 100 years old, Xerox was once the industry pioneer and the word “to xerox” is synonymous with “photocopying” in English. Xerox was just like the movie maker Kodak founded in Rochester in the north of the state of New York and moved to Connecticut later.
Today, Xerox manufactures printers and copiers, and makes the biggest sales and maintenance sales. But in recent years, the company has been in trouble due to the new technologies. Digitalization has reduced the demand for printed paper.
HP, on the other hand, is one of the early Silicon Valley icons and also has a rich history behind it: the company was founded in 1939 by Hewlett and Dave Packard in Palo Alto and then provided sound engineering for Walt among others Disney ago. In the 60s, the Californians developed their first computer and later became known mainly with printers.
But mergers and acquisitions are part of the history of Hewlett Packard: 2002, the company took over under the leadership of Carly Fiorina Compaq. In 2014, Hewlett Packard split into two companies: on the one hand HP Inc, with the printer and PC business, on the other HP Enterprise with the servers and the enterprise software.
“We have shown that we act when there is a better way forward, and we will continue to act with caution, discipline and an eye on what is in the best interests of all our shareholders,” HP said in light of his story.
HP sells mainly smaller printers than Xerox and is one of the largest PC manufacturers in the world. Despite rising profits and sales, the company announced in early October the reduction of 9,000 jobs.
In addition, HP wants to strengthen the printer business. In the future HP wants to bind customers with purchases of a printer with discounts to Tintenpatronen purchases. HP also invests in 3D printing.
More: The dreaded investor Carl Icahn has begun handing over the business to his son. But the 83-year-old does not want to retire for a long time.
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