(Reuters) - Xerox Corp’s board said on Wednesday it intended to resume merger discussions with Fujifilm Holdings, seeking a superior deal to terms announced at the end of January that have spurred a proxy fight over the company.
Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who own 15 percent of Xerox, have been trying to unravel the deal and unlock more value out the company. Asserting the Fujifilm deal values Xerox at just $28 per share, they said this week they would consider an all-cash bid of at least $40 per share.
Analysts say the prolonged fight for Xerox could ultimately push higher any offer price from Fujifilm or other interested parties. Buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC considered a bid for Xerox last week, sources have said.
Fujifilm said on Thursday it has not yet received a new proposal from Xerox and believes the current deal provides the best value for the shareholders of both firms.
“If we receive a new proposal, we will need to study whether it offers value to the shareholders of Fujifilm,” it said in a statement.
The two companies in January agreed to a complex $6.1 billion deal that would merge Xerox into their Asia joint venture Fuji Xerox, which Fujifilm would control with a 50.1 percent stake. Xerox shareholders were also due to receive a $2.5 billion special cash dividend.
The firms have not, however, disclosed a per share valuation for Xerox for the deal.
UBS analysts estimated in February that the deal valued Xerox at $40 a share - $9.80 in cash for every Xerox share held and calculated the stake in the proposed new Fuji Xerox