By David Goldman, CNN Business
Xerox is reportedly considering buying Hewlett-Packard Inc. in what would be a merger of two former American technology giants that have both seen better days.
The offer is thought to be worth $30-billion.
The Xerox (XRX) board discussed the possibility of an HP (HPQ) purchase on Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited sources familiar with the matter. The Journal also reported that the Xerox discussions are preliminary and might not lead to an offer for HP. Xerox declined to comment. An HP spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
A deal would be complicated by the fact that HP is more than three times the size of Xerox: HP has a market value of $27 billion, compared to Xerox’s $8 billion valuation. But Xerox announced Tuesday that it is selling various stakes in former parts of its business, and it will generate $2.5 billion in cash from those transactions. The Journal also reported that Xerox has been given the blessing by a major bank to receive lending for the transaction, should it go forward.
HP’s stock soared 9% in premarket trading. Xerox was down 3%.
A marriage between the companies could make sense. Both Xerox and HP spun off their big money-making ventures in recent years, leaving behind aging printing businesses that remain profitable. But those earnings are dwindling every year.
HP had surprised investors by growing faster than many had believed possible after its 2015 split with HP Enterprise, but it has struggled in recent quarters.
Although HP still has a sizable PC business, fewer customers are buying ink from HP. Ink sales had long been HP’s profit generator: HP would take losses on its printer sales, generating the bulk of its income from ink. But smartphones make printing less crucial, and many customers who do print are able to find cheaper ink suppliers.
The company announced last month that it would cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by 2022. At the time, Enrique Lores, HP’s new CEO, called the move “bold and decisive action” to help the company in its next chapter. HP’s former CEO, Dion Weisler, stepped down on Friday for a family matter.
Xerox, like HP, relies on a dying business for the bulk of its sales and profit. It sells and services copy machines and printers, primarily for corporations. But sales are falling, declining in each of the past seven quarters.
The deal between two similar businesses could yield cost savings of about $2 billion through layoffs and other synergies, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Both companies have a storied history: Xerox started in 1906 as the Haloid Photographic Co. The photographic supply company in Rochester, New York, paved its way to mega-success in March 1960, when it shipped its first office copier. The Haloid Xerox contraption was the size of two washing machines and weighed 648 pounds. It also occasionally caught on fire. The Xerox copier’s core technology -— a process called xerography, invented by Chester Carlson — is still widely used in copy machines five decades later. Xerox is now based in Norwalk, Connecticut.
HP traces its origins to 1938, when Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard rented a garage in Palo Alto, California. That year, they invented their first product: the HP Model 200A, an audio oscillator used to test sound equipment. The company became the pioneer of Silicon Valley, building its first computer in 1966 and the famous HP-35 in 1972 — the world’s first hand-held scientific calculator.
US printing giant Xerox has moved into metal 3D printing with the acquisition of New York-based start-up Vader Systems – creator of the first liquid metal 3-D printer for manufacturing. The process uses aluminum, which opens up potential signage applications.
Led by father-son team Scott and Zach Vader, Vader Systems has designed and created what’s believed to be the first liquid metal 3-D printer for manufacturing. Vader’s technology is able to produce parts at rapid speeds, low costs and with minimal waste by using wire feedstock to print up to 1,000 metal droplets per second. The process uses a range of aluminum alloys.
Xerox has not disclosed details of the deal, which was announced last week at its 2019 Investor Day.
The company says it’s also looking at the high-speed plastics printing market, with both plastics and metals expected to move into commercial production this year.
“We are leveraging our experience and expertise in digital printing to polymer and metal 3D printing technologies and will introduce new equipment, materials, services and design tools to the market,” said Xerox in a statement.
“Manufacturing customers want to use 3-D printing, but the current offerings only serve the prototyping market well, not broad manufacturing. Xerox developed, acquired and partnered printing software and material technologies are expected to deliver the productivity, materials range and cost and design tools to enable part manufacturing.”
Xerox CEO John Visentin said last year: “We are developing a roadmap to participate in 3D printing. We currently manufacture 3D print heads that we OEM, where we have differentiated capabilities around print technologies, materials, toner and software that will enable 3D printing to move to the next level of adoption for the production of end-use industrial products.”
By Jonathan Easton for PCR
Back in January, it was announced that Fujifilm is set to acquire Xerox to create an $18 billion printing monolith but cracks are starting to show.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, a new lawsuit is claiming that Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson pursued a deal, even though the company’s board advised him against it.
That board ‘advice’ actually came all the way back in November 2017 because the CEO’s position was under review. The paper appears to have learned this information from an amended suit filed in a New York state court on Sunday by Darwin Deason, a Xerox holder who opposes the deal. Deason claims that the deal ‘undervalues the copier and printer company’.
On Sunday, the company denied the claim, with Xerox Chairman Robert Keegan making a statement that: “Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson was fully authorized to engage in discussions with Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox on the proposed combination.”
He added that the lawsuit “distorts many of the facts regarding the proposed combination with Fuji Xerox.”
Deason, combined with activist shareholder Carl Icahn, holds a not insignificant 15 per cent of Xerox shares. They are arguing that, from their perspective as shareholders, the deal “disproportionately” favours Fuji.
The lawsuit could also be read as something of a power play from the outspoken Deason who wants to shake up the board.
As Reuters points out: “Deason wants to nominate directors to the Xerox board, despite missing a deadline, arguing in his suit that the current board had made a series of significant decisions and disclosures to stockholders after the nomination deadline.”
The news may come as a shock, with all parties previously appearing delighted at the deal.
Steve Hoover, senior VP and CTO at Xerox, wrote for PCR:
“What is it about the combination that will help our customers? Is it because Xerox and Fuji Xerox perfectly complement each other with our technology? Customers will have access to a broader combined product portfolio and feel confident that they are getting the best product available for them, regardless of where in the world they are—whether it is Boise or Burma, Japan or Jakarta. Additionally, the new Fuji Xerox will have a fully unified supply chain, which will bring the products to our customers seamlessly across the globe faster than ever before.
“The new Fuji Xerox will combine two leaders with world-class technological capabilities and cultures of innovation. Together, we invest nearly one billion dollars in research and product development and will lead the evolution of our industry. We will go beyond print as we know it today and drive change in important areas like inkjet, printed electronics, and printing on three-dimensional objects. In addition, our customers can expect advancements in artificial intelligence and analysis of text, image and video, device security and intelligent workplace assistants.”
In an ever more globalised world, there is an increasing demand for effective translation services, yet despite this, getting printed documents translated can be difficult. However, thanks to the new Xerox Easy Translator Service, obtaining a translated copy of a document can be achieved in mere minutes.
The Xerox Easy Translator Service is a comprehensive suite of cloud translation services that is ideal for mid-sized business that have the need to translate documents. The solution is designed to enable users to scan documents at a multi-function printer (MFP) and receive either a printout or electronic copy of the translated document—in any one of 38 languages—within minutes.
Shane Spies, marketing product manager for Xerox office products at Bytes Document Solutions, explains that Xerox Easy Translator is the industry’s first cloud-enabled language translation solution, integrated via a web portal across Xerox ConnectKey devices.
“It offers comprehensive language translation services – from instant machine translation of hardcopy documents to professional human translation services for digital files – in a wide range of common languages. These include English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic,” he says.
He adds that unlike a typical translation agency or translation company, Xerox is able to offer quick and easy access to online translation services that are available 24/7, at a minimal charge.
“Imagine walking up to an MFP with a foreign language document, scanning it, and getting a printout of the document that has been translated into your native tongue. Or imagine needing a quick translation of a document for a colleague that speaks a foreign language. That’s the magic the Xerox Easy Translator Service app enables,” continues Spies, adding that instant machine language translations are available from MFP, phone or PC.
Furthermore, the output is available in more than 20 file formats, including paper, JPG, MS Office, and PDF.
“The Xerox Easy Translator Service app has proved to be a resounding success so far, and was recently deemed worthy of BLI’s Outstanding Achievement in Innovation honours. In a global business world, there is no longer any reason to be left in the dark due to foreign language documents. Now the power to translate both hardcopy and digital documents can always be at your fingertips,” concludes Spies.
A new colour multi-function printer (MFP) from Xerox, the WorkCentre 6655 provides a powerful mix of innovative features and capabilities that give small and medium businesses access to the same solutions typically reserved for larger enterprises.
The new solid ink ColorQube 8880 printer from Xerox, represented locally by Bytes Document Solutions (BDS) is a flexible, waste-conscious solution for businesses that need optimal colour performance in a smaller carbon footprint.
Xerox has announced that it will cut 3 000 jobs company-wide. This comes after bad numbers in the second quarter.
The cuts are part of “a restructuring effort on the services side of the business”.
Small businesses and enterprise groups have to work quicker, smarter, and more efficiently to keep ahead in today’s competitive business market – do more with less. To help businesses stay one step ahead of the competition, Bytes Document Solutions has introduced the Xerox WorkCentre 3655 with advanced features and capabilities that simplify routine tasks and workflows.
Bytes Document Solutions (BDS) has announced the launch of new Xerox multi-function printers, the WorkCentre 5022 and 5024 machines. The new devices deliver affordable A3 productivity, featuring fast printing and copying with added features such as full-colour scanning, high-quality network printing and fax capabilities.
Erica Marks, senior product manager at Xerox’s African distributor Bytes Document Solutions, says: “Businesses of all kinds are demanding more from their MFPs and Xerox is delivering. Once a limited requirement, A3 today is a widely used format.”
The Xerox devices are highly productive, offering full-colour scanning, printing speeds up to 24 pages per minute (5024; 22 pages per minute for the 5022), in a new, smaller size. With 1 850-page paper capacity and page delivery output in 14 seconds or less in paper sizes up to A3, these devices produce more work in less time.
“The compact size (60cm x 58cm x 57cm) of the WorkCentre machines lends itself to smaller worker spaces, replacing space-intensive printers with increased power and efficiency in a single device,” adds Marks. “Space is at a premium in most offices; advances in printer technology means smaller, lighter machines capable of producing better materials, faster.”
User-friendliness is another feature of the new Xerox MFPs: the WorkCentre 5022 and 5024 feature an interactive user interface that gives easy access to device settings, such as reducing the size of the document, selecting text graphics or setting page output to one- or two-sided.
The WorkCentre also helps businesses meet sustainability goals, with toner and replacement cartridges that adhere to the highest environmental standards.
Xerox WorkCentre 5022/5024 fast facts:
* Affordable A3, fast printing and copying, full-colour scanning and network printing;
* Simple and compact, increased power and efficiency in a single device;
* Black and white at up to 24ppm, with the first page out in 14 seconds or less;
* 1 850 paper capacity for longer print runs and fewer stoppages; and
* Toner and replacement cartridges adhere to the highest environmental standards.
Xerox has been placed by Gartner in the Leaders Quadrant of the 2014 Magic Quadrant for Managed Print and Content Services Worldwide.