Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Monday, 28 September 2009 21:38 UK

Xerox launches $6.4bn takeover

Xerox, AP
Xerox already has a diverse range of businesses

Photocopier giant Xerox has unveiled a takeover deal which takes it into the fields of data management and technology outsourcing.

It is buying fellow US firm Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) in a cash and shares deal worth $6.4bn (£4bn).

Xerox is already the world's biggest supplier of digital printer and document management services.

Shares in the company fell by 14.5% on Monday as investors appeared to question the deal. ACS gained 14%.

'Game-changer'

Xerox said it would take on ACS's debt, worth about $2bn, as part of the takeover.

The ACS acquisition will strengthen Xerox' enterprise business
Analyst Shannon Cross

Chief executive Ursula Burns said the deal was a "game-changer" for Xerox that would help "expand our business and benefit from stronger revenue and earnings growth".

ACS provides information technology services to industries including telecommunications, retail, financial services and education. After the takeover, it will operate as a stand-alone firm.

Analysts broadly welcomed the deal, with many saying it would enable Xerox to better compete against Hewlett-Packard which bought ACS rival Electronic Data Systems a year ago.

"The ACS acquisition will strengthen Xerox' enterprise business," said analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research.

"With solid operating margins and cash flow, we believe ACS will further enhance Xerox' core strength, allowing for additional acquisitions over time."

ACS employs 74,000 people, compared with 57,000 at Xerox.

However, Xerox has a significantly higher turnover, which reached $17.6bn in 2008, compared with $6.2bn at ACS.



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