Fujifilm Holdings Corp. President Kenji Sukeno told shareholders on Thursday the Japanese company will continue to pursue a merger with Xerox Corp. despite the U.S. printer and copier maker's decision to terminate the deal.
"It is the best option for Fuji Xerox and Xerox. I will continue to seek" the merger, Sukeno told an annual shareholders' meeting in Tokyo, held at a time when the two companies have diverged over their merger deal announced in January.
Under the deal, Fujifilm would acquire a 50.1 percent stake in Xerox and merge it with joint venture Fuji Xerox Co. The Japanese company currently holds a 75 percent stake in Fuji Xerox, with Xerox owning the rest.
But Xerox shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason have objected, claiming Xerox has been undervalued. In May, Xerox said it had decided to terminate the merger contract after reaching a settlement with the shareholders.
Under the settlement, Xerox also reshuffled its management, replacing Chief Executive Officer Jeff Jacobson who worked with Fujifilm on the planned merger with John Visentin, a former information technology service firm adviser sent to the board by Icahn.
At the annual meeting, shareholders raised concern about the outlook for the merger deal. When asked about the impact that the termination of the merger contract would have on Fujifilm, Sukeno dismissed any ramifications on the company, saying, "It is Xerox that would be negatively affected."
He said Fujifilm intends to continue fighting a New York court injunction on April 27 blocking the deal. Deason filed for the injunction in February.
"We will first explain our position to the appeals court," Sukeno said.
In a separate legal action, Fujifilm sued Xerox earlier this month for damages expected to top $1 billion for canceling the merger contract.