Hampered by coronavirus market turmoil, Xerox drops hostile takeover of HP

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NORWALK, Connecticut and PALO ALTO, California — Just days after HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) called for a cease-fire as the world grapples with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 virus, Xerox Holdings Corp. (NYSE: XRX) is ending its $34.8 billion hostile takeover attempt.

In a statement, Xerox said the ongoing health and markets crisis caused by the novel coronavirus has made continuing the hostile takeover untenable. It is pulling its tender offer for HP stock and withdrawing its slate of candidates for the HP board, both efforts made to convince HP shareholders to approve a merger against the will of the current HP board.

But Xerox took one last swipe at HP for refusing to consider the merger beyond preliminary due diligence.

“The refusal of HP’s board to meaningfully engage over many months and its continued delay tactics have proven to be a great disservice to HP stockholders, who have shown tremendous support for the transaction,” the company said.

Xerox was prepared to take out $24 billion in loans to supplement the acquisition costs, which HP’s board repeatedly said would leave a merged company in dire financial straits.

HP has long been a major tech employer for the region, once employing thousands in Loveland and Greeley before slowly shrinking its footprint to just one office in Fort Collins. About 600 people work at the Fort Collins office, according to estimates from LinkedIn data.

HP Enterprise Inc. (NYSE: HPE) also has offices in Fort Collins and Boulder, but is a separate company spun off years ago from HP Inc.

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