Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Norwalk, CT, United States (4E) – Another icon of Americana, Xerox, is no longer American. The company, whose name is synonymous with photocopying, was bought by Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, a Japanese multinational photography and imaging company based in Tokyo.
Fujifilm Holdings took control of Xerox Corporation in a deal that creates an $18 billion company and end of the independence of the iconic American brand that was founded in 1906. Apart from inventing xerography and the photo copier, Xerox invented several important elements of personal computing, such as the computer mouse and desktop computing.
Today, however, Xerox focuses on its document technology and document outsourcing.
Xerox, which has a market value of $8.3 billion, will first merge with a joint venture the company operates with Fujifilm in Asia. Fujifilm will ultimately end up owning 50.1 percent of the combined entity, which will be expanded to include all of Xerox’s operations.
The new combined company will carry the name, Fuji Xerox. Jeff Jacobson, the current Xerox, will become CEO of the combined company. Fuji Xerox will have dual headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut and Tokyo.
The deal should make Xerox a more global company, according to analysts. Fuji Xerox currently operates in the Asia-Pacific region, and Xerox in the Americas and Europe. The combined company will share cost on research, product development and potentially manufacturing capacity to make it more competitive worldwide.
The new company should accelerate revenue growth through its global reach and pursue developments in inkjet, imaging and artificial intelligence.
The joint venture, however, will result in the loss of 10,000 jobs in Asia as part of the restructuring Fujifilm struggles with an “increasingly severe” market environment.
“The proposed combination has compelling industrial logic and will unlock significant growth and productivity opportunities for the combined company, while delivering substantial value to Xerox shareholders,” said Jacobson.
Fujifilm generates almost 60 percent of sales from overseas, and is pushing to offset soft demand at its printer and copier hardware business by shifting focus to managed-print services and medical imaging.
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