Activist shareholder alleges Xerox CEO sought unauthorized Fujifilm merger

Jeff Jacobson, CEO, Xerox

Activist shareholder Darwin Deason has filed a lawsuit alleging Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson disregarded board directives to pursue the merger of Xerox with Fuji Xerox, according to Reuters.

In January, Fujifilm Holdings and Xerox inked a $6.1 billion deal to combine the U.S. company into their existing joint venture, Fuji Xerox, but the announcement met with resistance from Deason and Carl Icahn. The investors, who together hold about 15 percent of Xerox shares, contend the merger undervalues Xerox stock.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday, contends the Xerox board advised Jacobson in November to stop the merger negotiations because the board was considering firing him. According to the Reuters report, Xerox released a statement supporting Jacobson.

“Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson was fully authorized to engage in discussions with Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox on the proposed combination,” said the statement from Xerox Chairman Robert Keegan. (Longtime photo industry members will remember Bob Keegan as longtime Eastman Kodak executive.)

Having trouble sleeping? Read the entire 700-page complaint here.