• Kyodo

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Fujifilm Holdings Corp. may withdraw from a deal to acquire Xerox Corp. if the deadlock over its implementation continues for another six months amid opposition from the U.S. copier-maker’s major shareholders, the chairman of Fujifilm said Thursday.

“It cannot be helped if there is no proposal from the new Xerox management within several months or within half a year,” Chairman Shigetaka Komori told reporters.

Komori stressed there is no change in Fujifilm’s stance in urging Xerox to implement the deal, calling it “the only plan conceivable at the moment.” But he added the Tokyo-based company would be “ready to consider any proposal (from Xerox) that is mutually beneficial.”

The companies announced the deal in January, under which Fujifilm would acquire a 50.1 percent stake in Xerox and merge it with copy machine subsidiary Fuji Xerox Co.

But Xerox shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason have said the deal is undervalued and that they would only consider a bid of at least $40 per share.

Xerox said in May it had decided to terminate the deal after reaching a settlement with the shareholders, under which Jeff Jacobson — who worked with Fujifilm on the deal — stepped down as CEO and the majority of the new board consisted of members sent by Icahn.

While Komori declined to comment on whether Fujifilm will agree to raise its bid, he said the major shareholders’ request of $40 per share was “too high.”

Komori said Fujifilm intends to continue fighting a New York court’s April 27 injunction, which blocks the deal. Deason filed for the injunction in February.

The chairman said Fujifilm will also file a damages suit against Xerox at an early date for unilaterally terminating the deal approved by the companies’ boards in January.

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