HP shareholders invited to come dine with Xerox

Xerox hopes to curry support for its latest takeover bid

Xerox representatives have reportedly issued invitations to HP shareholders for a restaurant dinner as the latest attempt to gain support in buying out HP.

An anonymous source who had received an invitation told Reuters that the dinner hosted by Xerox would take place at a restaurant in the Riverside neighborhood of Greenwich, Connecticut on 18 February. Xerox CEO John Visentin is also reported to be attending the event.

The news comes after HP sent an open letter to Xerox that its offer of a $30 billion (£22.9 billion) bid in November 2019 "significantly undervalues HP and is not in the best interests of HP shareholders".

The dinner invitations could be seen as Xerox’s endeavour into challenging HP’s accusations and gain the backing for the takeover from HP's shareholders.

Following last year’s snub, Xerox raised its takeover bid to $35 billion (£26.9 billion) and has begun a hostile takeover of the company, even attempting to nominate 11 directors to HP’s board.

It also announced that it had secured $24 billion (£18.4 billion) of the finances required for the deal.

HP is thought to have dismissed Xerox’s most recent, $35 billion bid, but is expected to make an announcement on 24 February, when it unveils its first-quarter earnings for the 2020 financial year.

HP is set to cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs (around 16% of its workforce) over the next two years as part of wider restructuring efforts and hopes to become "a more digitally enabled company". This would indicate that HP is in economic difficulty and arguably a ripe target for a takeover. 

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