back to article The soap opera continues. HP again tells Xerox: Show us more money!

The board at HP has yet again rejected advances from Xerox, telling the hard pressed copier giant that it needs to increase the tabled bid of $33bn before it considers mutual due diligence and then putting the offer to shareholders. At the start of this week, Xerox obtained a binding financing commitment from three major banks …

  1. teebie

    So Xerox are doing due diligence to make sure that HP are worth as much as HP think HP are worth.

    And HP think that doing due diligence on a company; worth before taking them over is cheating? Because companies should value themselves autonomously?

    I imagine everybody sees what I did there.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Aliens on TOI 1338 b can see what you did there.

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        The Aliens on LV426 didn't see it as they were too busy cocooning up the incumbent Weyland terraformers.

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Of course HP won't agree...

    Of course HP won't agree. Their own internal valuation is highly likely being pumped up by their own sense of self worth, and the inclusion of a large proportion of the fantastical and unachievable future revenue projections that they make to investors every quarter. If investors are actually exposed to their "true" value and worth, then I'm sure a lot of those investors might choose to invest elsewhere.

    As for Carl Icann... I couldn't care less. All he cares about is his own payday rather than the future of either company.

    1. NotBob

      Re: Of course HP won't agree...

      I'd go further to say that if Carl Ichan wants it, it's a bad idea.

  3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    $33bn 'significantly undervalue' the stock

    I can see the board's point. $33 billion is only 18,591,968 sets of CMYK toner cartridges.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: $33bn 'significantly undervalue' the stock

      The current value of HP is precisely known it is $30.7bn as of today

      If we didn't have this communist interference with the free market, then Xerox would be able to simply logon to their Charles Schwab account and buy it.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: $33bn 'significantly undervalue' the stock

        "The current value of HP is precisely known it is $30.7bn as of today"

        What you meant to say was that HP's "market cap" is $30.7bn.

        Value is a different proposition and is usually less IMO.

        The BOD wants to get a much higher price in a buyout to get as much value for the shareholders (themselves) as they can since they'll likely be out of a cushy high paying job.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: $33bn 'significantly undervalue' the stock

        If the free market were really free then big business would own the gove- wait...

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Good old Beeb! They had this article a few days ago https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50609165 that appears to be treating Icahn as something out of the past.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      A relevant quote from that article:

      "In 1985, Mr Icahn took over TWA, the now defunct American airline. He loaded it with debt, sold its most valuable flight routes and ground the airline into bankruptcy."

      And people are surprised HP aren't interested in what Icahn wants for them?

  5. luis river

    Two can convert in one better

    The principal question: the merger create redundant product in both companies?

    I think than Xerox and HP they are two gold tech enterprises and their merger shall have deep and good change on IT industry

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Two can convert in one better

      To answer that question: Yes, a LOT of redundant products. Xerox is a printer company, and has models in almost every arena except the home user. HP does as well, but also targets home users.

      HP also still has their laptop and desktop divisions. (They spun off server and datacenter stuff to HPE)

      I think it would be a very bad idea for the two printing companies to merge regardless of what certain 'activist' investors (iCahn) might state.

      1. NeilPost Bronze badge

        Re: Two can convert in one better

        If there was a proposed defensive merger of Seiko-Epson and Canon.... HP Xerox Ink. would be worth next to fuck all.

      2. luis river

        Re: Two can convert in one better

        Yes your opinion is correct but I say "the redundant product Xerox -HPE it have one advantaje, dont is neccesary migrate o adapt masive repository software, is more simple, select in each product redundant their better qualities and create one unique and superior one."

      3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

        Re: Two can convert in one better

        It's a very good idea once you realise what would actually result: Xerox's management running HP. Other considerations are secondary to achieving a complete replacement of the HP board and c-suite - something investors have been trying to do since Carly (remember her?) or even before, but have been unable to achieve due to the cronyism.

  6. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Happy

    Can HP stick to the same "story"?

    It is either "we're not interested, f*ck off" or "more money". Not both.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

      That's the same thing, when I respond to unwelcome potential clients: either pay me doubletriple, or enjoy sex and travel.

  7. Archtech Silver badge

    Really weird

    Xerox, founded in 1906 as a photographic paper manufacturer, is still doing fairly well today. It had a brief flirtation with computing in the 1970s, through its PARC subsidiary, but quickly brushed it off and stuck to the knitting. So that's 114 years and still doing well - unusual for any corporation, especially in a technical industry.

    HP, founded in 1939, was a name synonymous with engineering excellence (and high levels of integrity) for about 50 years. Then everything gradually began to go wrong. HP hardware has always been pretty good and reliable - from servers through PCs and workstations to printers, storage and calculators - but somehow the company's top management always found ways to screw everything up. Buying Compaq/DEC/Tandem might have been a brilliant move, but turned out to be an extremely indigestible meal.

    Maybe it's as simple as this: in 1993 Bill Hewlett and David Packard left the board of directors. Just as DEC plunged to its destruction when Ken Olsen was persuaded to leave. Those three had amazing values and ethics, which somehow spread throughout their companies. They were succeeded by standard 1990s money-chasing managers, who had no vision and no moral aspirations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really weird

      "Still doing well"

      FUCK Xerox. I'll tell you why they're doing well.

      Our company has been month to month with them because to reinstate our yearly contract would cost 3x what we have been paying for the past 8 years. They refuse to replace or upgrade any printers until we do it, and all of them are aged and won't work with our new print server software. The only reason the board chose Xerox for a contract is because one of them had Xerox stock and "friends" that worked there. They run our print shop and mailroom too because they valued it incredibly competitively but hiked the price every year, on top of the 3x they want for the main contract now. So we're stuck in this hostage situation, because it will cost even more to hire 5 FTEs for the mailroom and replace every printer—because we rent them as part of the contract, we don't own them and they refused to let us buy them even though the contract says they can allow us to do so.

  8. Archtech Silver badge

    Classic Bill Hewlett anecdote

    A propos the founders' values, I have always thought the following anecdote perfectly illustrated why HP was so successful - and, for a very long time, such a good company to work for. http://www.hpmemoryproject.org/timeline/john_minck/inside_hp_03.htm#part_03_chapt_02

    "Bill was a tinkerer. He loved to spend his time in the Lab with Barney Oliver, after Barney returned from his work at Bell Labs in the 1950's. They were a perfect match, Barney with IQ of 180, and Hewlett with the technical curiosity of an Einstein, yet the business sense to see technology solutions and products.

    "It was not unusual to find Bill in the plant on weekends. Perhaps he was working on an antenna for the fly-in airstrip, on the ranch, he and Dave owned in South San Jose. On one weekend evening, he was working on a radio antenna, and needed some parts from Lab Stock. It was the late 1960's and division management was on a cost saving initiative, which came and went, in cycles. Some manager or bean-counter decided that open lab stock was a license to steal, so the lab stockroom door had a padlock on it, after working hours and weekends.

    "Bill called a guard to open the tool room door in the facilities department, to bring him a bolt cutter tool. He cut off the padlock, got his parts, and left a note on the stock room door to the effect, "Don't ever lock this door again," signed Bill Hewlett. Guess how many years that that note prevented lab stock doors from being locked? Such action gets around-everywhere!

    "Bill's attitude was that we hire expensive design engineers, to create new products. At the same time, many have hobbies, such as ham radio or audio system design, which teach them new design tricks, useful in their regular HP job. Bill was willing to accommodate the use of HP parts, from the lab stock, to assist the engineers in their off-duty hobbies".

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Classic Bill Hewlett anecdote

      That's a great story. We need more people like Bill and Barney, and fewer MBAs and beancounters. If we can somehow manage that in the UK, we might survive Brexit. If not, we'll we're screwed. The question is, where are these people in a nearly totally deskilled workforce?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Classic Bill Hewlett anecdote

      Bill was willing to accommodate the use of HP parts, from the lab stock, to assist the engineers in their off-duty hobbies"."

      ...meanwhile, I tried to buy some parts from our company through the staff discount scheme. I ended up at ebuyer as a normal retail purchase and bought the exact same parts at about 20% less!

  9. MachDiamond Silver badge

    I still have plenty of Hewlett Packard gear

    I'd have to go out in the lab and make an inventory, but I know all but one of my power supplies are HP. Even with as much abuse as I've heaped on my test equipment, it keeps on working. I'm one of those people that it willing to spend good money on tools I know will likely outlive me.

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