Printer manufacturer Xerox announced Friday that it would temporarily pause its efforts to acquire competitor HP, citing the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Xerox needs to prioritize the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations, including its proposal to acquire HP,” Xerox CEO John Visentin said in a statement. Presentations, media interviews and meetings with HP shareholders relating to the takeover proposal will all be postponed, he said.
Xerox made an initial $33.5 billion offer to buy HP in November, which HP’s board of directors rejected, arguing that the proposal undervalued HP and would leave the combined company saddled with too much debt. Xerox vowed to make its case directly to HP shareholders, and it has proceeded with a series of moves over the past four months aimed at enticing HP shareholders to accept a merger.
HP is one of Clark County’s largest employers. The company is based in California but operates two offices in the Columbia Tech Center, and the city of Vancouver recently announced that HP is pursuing plans to build a new local corporate campus.