Xerox to postpone meetings with HP shareholders amid coronavirus scare

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Xerox is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RC15DA6446E0/File Photo

(Reuters) - Xerox Holdings Corp, which is in a proxy fight for control of HP Inc, said on Friday it would postpone meetings with shareholders of the personal computer maker amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. printer maker added that it does not consider the decline in HP shares since the date of its offer as a broader sell-off could affect its bid.

The pandemic has killed more than 4,900 people and at least 134,000 cases have been reported across the globe. The economic damage has also amplified, with stock markets continuing to be volatile.

“We believe it is prudent to postpone releases of additional presentations, interviews with media and meetings with HP shareholders so we can focus our time and resources on protecting Xerox’s various stakeholders from the pandemic,” Xerox’s Chief Executive Officer John Visentin said in a statement on Friday.

HP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, HP rejected Xerox’s raised takeover bid of about $35 billion, saying it undervalued the personal computer maker. HP also requested its shareholders to reject the tender offer, saying it would disproportionately benefit Xerox shareholders relative to HP shareholders.

After Xerox raised its offer, HP said it would implement a poison pill plan to stop investors from amassing more than 20% stake in the company.

Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sherry Jacob-Phillips