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Xerox-HP merger is "a non-brain," says Carl Icahn



Activist investor Carl Icahn presses on proposed union by Xerox Holdings Corp. and HP Inc., arguing that a combination of printer manufacturers can make big profits for investors.

Icahn, which owns a 10.6% stake in Norwalk, Conn.-based Xerox

XRX, + 0.40%

told The Wall Street Journal that he also owns a 4.24% stake in HP

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valued at approximately $ 1

.2 billion. His ownership stake in HP, not previously reported, could increase the pressure on the printer and the computer company to make a deal.

Last week, Xerox made an offer to buy HP for $ 33 billion, or $ 22 per share – $ 17 in cash and 0.377 Xerox shares for each HP share. That's a bold move given that HP's market value, at $ 29 billion, is more than three times more than Xerox. The agreement was to unite companies that were once giants in American industry, but whose fortunes have waned in the digital age.

In his first public comment on the potential deal, the 83-year-old billionaire said he believes it is in the best interests of both sets of shareholders given the potential for cost savings – linked to Xerox to more than $ 2 billion – and for that The company combined to market a more balanced portfolio of offers on printers.

"I think a combination is a no-brainer, Sa Icahn." I believe very strongly in the synergies, "he said, adding that" there will probably be a choice between cash and stocks, and I'd much rather have stock, provided it's a good leadership team. "

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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