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Xerox exits Fujifilm venture with $2.3 billion stake sale to Japan partner

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By Reuters
Xerox exits Fujifilm venture with $2.3 billion stake sale to Japan partner
The Fuji Xerox logo is seen on a photocopier in this illustration photo January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files   -   Copyright  THOMAS WHITE(Reuters)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Xerox Holdings Corp <XRX.N> is selling its 25% stake in Fuji Xerox, its 57-year-old joint venture with Fujifilm Holdings Corp <4901.T>, to the Japanese partner for $2.3 billion, ending a prolonged dispute over a potential merger.

The sale comes after Xerox last year scrapped a $6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm in a settlement with investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason that also handed control of the U.S. photocopier giant to new management.

As part of the deal announced by Xerox and Fujifilm on Tuesday, Xerox will also sell its majority stake in another smaller joint venture with Fuji Xerox to the Japanese firm.

The two companies agreed early last year to a complex deal that would have merged Xerox into their Asia joint venture Fuji Xerox and given Fujifilm control. That prompted Icahn and Deason, who own about 15% of Xerox and argued the U.S. firm was being undervalued, to launch a proxy fight.

The bitter legal wrangling has created much uncertainty for the two firms which are seen by many analysts as inextricably intertwined through the Fuji Xerox joint venture.

The venture accounts for nearly half of Fujifilm’s revenue while Xerox no longer builds its own office copiers, instead relying mostly on Fuji Xerox.

(Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru; Writing by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Muralikumar Anantharaman)