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HP to Respond to Xerox’s $35 Billion Offer on Feb. 24

Nico Grant

(Bloomberg) -- HP Inc. said it will respond to Xerox Holdings Corp.’s planned tender offer on Feb. 24, when the company reports earnings, again promising shareholders a path to boost the personal-computer maker’s value.

“HP will share additional information about its plan to drive sustainable long-term value for its shareholders, including through the execution of the company’s multi-year strategic and financial plan and the deployment of its strong balance sheet,” the Palo Alto, California-based company said Tuesday in a statement.

Xerox said Monday it will launch a tender offer “on or around March 2” with a bid of $24 per share in cash and stock, a $2 per share increase from an unsolicited takeover offer to HP’s board in November. For each HP share, a holder would get $18.40 in cash and 0.149 Xerox shares. The offer won’t be subject to any conditions related to financing or due diligence, Xerox said Monday. The printer maker has already begun a proxy battle for control of HP, nominating 11 directors to replace its rival’s board.

Analysts project that HP will report profit, excluding some expenses, of 55 cents per share on revenue of $14.6 billion in the fiscal first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That would mean a 1% reduction in sales compared with a year earlier, reflecting softer demand for the company’s ink supplies as consumers and businesses print less.

Xerox also has struggled to cope with those changing market tastes, and last year announced plans to cut $640 million in expenses. Annual revenue declined 8% to $9.1 billion in 2019, with analysts projecting another 5% decrease this year.

HP has said it has many routes to create value for shareholders that aren’t dependent on a combination with Xerox. Chief Executive Officer Enrique Lores, who has worked at the company for more than three decades, is still new to HP’s top job. Lores said he wants to make printing services, 3-D printing and high-end computers a larger part of HP’s business, and would oversee as much as a 16% reduction in the company’s workforce in a bid to cut costs. Xerox CEO John Visentin has criticized this plan as a piecemeal approach that won’t be as beneficial to HP as a combination.

(Corrects date for the planned tender offer in the third paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack

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