Japan's Fujifilm to take over Xerox

Xerox company is seen on a building in Minsk Belarus

U.S. copier and printer maker Xerox, which has been in some financial trouble for the last few years, will be absorbed by the joint venture that the company owns with the Japanese company Fujifilm, according to the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

Fujifilm, which generates nearly 60 percent of sales overseas, is pushing to offset waning demand at its printer and copier hardware business by shifting focus to managed-print services and medical imaging.

The deal marks the end of independence for a US company whose roots trace back to the start of the 20th century.

Reuters is reporting that, as a result of combining Xerox with legacy Fuji Xerox, Fujifilm is planning to cut 10,000 jobs at the Asia Pacific-focused joint venture entity amid a "tough market environment".

Confusingly, the new joint venture will become a full subsidiary of Xerox with Xerox changing its name to the "new" Fuji Xerox.

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The deal has been approved by the Fujifilm and Xerox Boards of Directors.

"The document solutions business represents a significant part of Fujifilm's portfolio, and the creation of the new Fuji Xerox allows us to more directly establish a leadership position in a fast-changing market". "The new structure will use the qualities of our three organizations".

Fujifilm said it would book restructuring costs of 49 billion yen ($450.95m) in the second half of the fiscal year to March, lowering its operating profit forecast for the year to 130 billion yen from a previous 185 billion yen. That venture is the subject of a recent accounting probe into its practices in New Zealand and Australia, which prompted Icahn, who owns 9.7 percent of Xerox, to call for renegotiating or scrapping their agreement.

Fuji Xerox mainly has operated in Japan and the rest of Asia, with Xerox handling business in the US and Europe.

"Companies didn't make much money from the actual photocopiers and printers themselves, but more from the sale of toners and paper". "With the combined company, they can share cost on research, product development and potentially manufacturing capacity as well".

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