Fujifilm throws down gauntlet to take on Xerox

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Fujifilm throws down gauntlet to take on Xerox

Fujifilm chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori is vowing to bring the fight to America, if Xerox makes good on its threat to abandon the decades old Fuji Xerox partnership.

“We are prepared to respond by competing with Xerox here in Asia Pacific, and by marketing in territory where Xerox is currently doing business unchallenged by us, such as America and Europe,” Komori said in an open letter Wednesday morning.

“While Xerox presently has no marketing facilities here in Asia Pacific, we have global infrastructure that we can utilize for marketing worldwide.   Accordingly, we believe it would be enormously costly and difficult for Xerox to gain business in Asia Pacific.”

The letters is a direct response to Xerox CEO John Visentin’s own open letter Monday in which he blamed what he called “ongoing” accounting fraud at Fuji Xerox - which Fujifilm owns 75 percent of - for breaking the deal between the two companies.

Komori said that was an "outrageous mischaracterisation" of the accounting "issues" at Fuji Xerox. He said two accounting firms have completed audits in all of its territories, including China.   

"Fuji Xerox has devoted extensive resources to ensure that past accounting issues have been properly resolved and there is no reason to assert that these issues continue to exist," he said.

Xerox did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Komori’s letter early this morning.

When former Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson announced the company was being sold to Fujifilm in January, two of Xerox largest share holders, Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, fought back. Deason sued and convinced a New York state court judge to grant an injunction that halted the sale. Jacobson resigned in May and Xerox announced they would kill the deal with Fujifilm.

Last week Fujifilm filed a federal lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages from Xerox for walking away.

In his letter Wednesday morning, Komori said it was Xerox who approached Fujifilm about the deal to help fight “shrinkage of market and low market shares of Xerox” in its territories.

“We are confident that the court will see through your misleading misstatements and conclude what is obvious to objective observers:  that your stated reasons for terminating our deal are merely a thinly veiled pretext to bargain for a higher price from Fujifilm at the behest of two minority shareholders,” Komori said.

He also blamed the injunction that prevents the sale from moving forward on Jacobson and the former Xerox board — who had been Komori’s allies in selling the deal to shareholders.

“Your misleading reference to “surreptitious” conduct by Fujifilm seeks to whitewash that it was the conduct of your former CEO and directors that caused the New York Supreme Court to enjoin, preliminarily, the transaction,” he said.

Xerox has yet to file a response to the 18 June lawsuit filed in US District Court in Manhattan.

This article originally appeared at crn.com

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