Xerox merging with Japan-based Fujifilm

Xerox merging with Japan-based Fujifilm

Overview

By Spectrum News Staff

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A major change for Xerox. Japan-based Fujifilm announced the formation of a new company that will combine part of Fuji with Xerox Wednesday morning. The new company will be called Fuji Xerox.

Fuji says it will own 50.1 percent of the combined company.

Xerox shareholders will receive a $2.5 billion cash dividend, or about $9.80 per share. Reuters reports Fujifilm will cut 10,000 jobs in Asia by 2020. The combined company will have dual headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, where Xerox is based, and in Tokyo.

Tokyo-based Fujifilm expanded into new technologies, optical devices, pharmaceuticals and other health related areas after demand for its core product, photo film, plummeted with the rapid adoption of digital cameras. Its performance recently has been hurt by the appreciation of the Japanese yen against the dollar.

The companies said they intend to expand in lucrative business areas such as high-speed inkjet commercial and industrial printing, using Fujifilm’s technologies. Local analysts see potential big changes ahead.

“The concern in Rochester is, the sellout could mean, ultimately, more production is moved offshore, more jobs are lost in Webster,” said Geroge Conboy of Brighton Securities. “If they’re smart, Fuji will reduce headcount at Xerox Headquarters in Stamford.”

The board of directors for both companies unanimously approved the deal.

The combined company will maintain the Xerox and Fuji brands within their operating regions.

Officials say both companies will continue to be separate, independent organizations and will operate business as usual until the close of the transaction so there is no immediate impact locally.

Xerox also released its quarterly earnings Wednesday morning, highlighting a strong fourth quarter. The company says it delivered on its year-long commitments with improvements in revenue, operating margin and earnings.

Xerox reports total revenue of $2.7 billion, up half a percent. Xerox attributes much of that to a successful new product launch earlier in the year, which helped bring equipment sale earnings to $682 million, up four point three percent.

The company says that drove operating profit margins up 14.4 percent in the fourth quarter. As a result, Xerox’s earnings per share are at a $1.04, up four cents from last year.