Tuesday 26 November 2019 4:15 pm

Xerox takes $33.5bn HP takeover bid hostile as tensions build

Xerox today confirmed it will take its $33.5bn (£26bn) takeover bid for HP hostile after the computer maker refused to open its books ahead of a deadline.

Read more: HP reject Xerox’s $33.5bn takeover bid but keeps door open for potential merger

HP rejected Xerox’s offer of $22 per share earlier this month, saying it “significantly undervalues” the company.

But in a letter sent to HP executives today, Xerox said HP’s refusal to engage in mutual due diligence “defies logic” and vowed to plough ahead with its takeover attempt.

“We plan to engage directly with HP shareholders to solicit their support in urging the HP board to do the right thing and pursue this compelling opportunity,” Xerox vice chairman and chief executive John Visentin wrote.

The two firms have been locked in a frank exchange of views since the offer was first tabled at the beginning of November.

Last week HP reiterated its belief that the offer undervalued the firm and that it was “highly conditional and uncertain”. It has also raised concerns that the terms of the offer would leave the company riddled with “outsized debt”.

In addition, HP accused Xerox of using “aggressive words and actions” to force through a deal without providing adequate information.

The printer maker today hit back, saying: “While you may not appreciate our ‘aggressive’ tactics, we will not apologise for them.”

Read more: Xerox to sell off stake in Fuji Xerox for $2.3bn

The proposed takeover came after Xerox sold off its $2.3bn stake in Fuji Xerox, bringing to an end a potentially ruinous legal battle with Fujifilm.

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