In a statement issued today (13 March), Xerox vice chairman and chief executive officer John Visentin said the business needs to “prioritise the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations, including its proposal to acquire HP”.
He added: “As we closely monitor reports from government and healthcare leaders across the globe and work with colleagues in the business community to minimise the spread and impact of the virus, we believe it is prudent to postpone releases of additional presentations, interviews with media and meetings with HP shareholders so we can focus our time and resources on protecting Xerox’s various stakeholders from the pandemic.”
Xerox added it does not consider the market decline since the date of its offer or the temporary suspension of trading in HP shares that occurred on 10 and 12 March as a result of market-wide circuit breakers procedures to constitute a failure of any condition to its offer to acquire HP.
It said it will take the same view on any future temporary trading halts, unless otherwise stated in advance.
Earlier this week Xerox had made a further nomination in its slate of proposed HP board directors, and was readying a special meeting of Xerox shareholders to seek their approval for its offer.
HP had last week recommended that its shareholders reject Xerox’s raised takeover offer, which it said still undervalues the business.