IMF chief Christine Lagarde finds common cause with Donald Trump on protecting IP rights

IMF chief Christine Legarde found common ground with US president Donald Trump on encouraging fair trade and protecting intellectual property rights. (AP)
Updated 27 January 2018

IMF chief Christine Lagarde finds common cause with Donald Trump on protecting IP rights

LONDON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde found at least some common cause with US President Donald Trump on Friday in supporting the global fight against intellectual property (IP) theft.
Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Lagarde echoed a similar sentiment delivered by Trump earlier in the day, stating that he would not “tolerate” IP theft.
Lagarde also stressed that it was important to tackle “unfair” trade practices.
“We need to have more, better trade and fair trade, but for this we need international cooperation,” she said. “We need a reset, we need to look at IP rights, but it needs to be looked at in a cooperative way. The World Trade Organization is a forum where this should happen.”
The IMF expects global economic growth of about 3.9 percent this year and next year. “We are in a sweet spot and we should celebrate,” said Lagarde.
She said this was the result of good policies, but there were risks, including excessive inequalities and lack of international cooperation.
The IMF chief stressed that a lack of international cooperation could lead to “significant” geopolitical risks. She added that “lagging productivity” could be boosted with more investment into R&D to facilitate innovation.
“We need more trade not less,” she said. “And the fight against corruption is vital to give more hope and encourage our economies.”
Speaking on the same panel, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, told the WEF audience that more investment relative to savings was leading to monetary “normalization.”“For central banks, there is a regime shift toward normalization,” he said.
Carney added: “UK banks have five times more capital than before the 2008 crisis and the Bank of England is confident it can withstand the shock of the hardest of hard Brexits.”


HP rejects Xerox takeover bid, says open to acquiring Xerox instead

Updated 18 November 2019

HP rejects Xerox takeover bid, says open to acquiring Xerox instead

  • In rejecting Xerox's $33.5 billion cash-and-stock acquisition offer, HP said the offer “significantly” undervalued the personal computer maker
  • Xerox made the offer for HP on Nov. 5 after resolving its dispute with its joint venture partner Fujifilm Holdings Corp.
NEW YORK: HP Inc. said on Sunday it was open to exploring a bid for US printer maker Xerox Corp. after rebuffing a $33.5 billion cash-and-stock acquisition offer from the latter as “significantly” undervaluing the personal computer maker.
Xerox made the offer for HP, a company more than three times its size, on Nov. 5, after it resolved a dispute with its joint venture partner Fujifilm Holdings Corp. that represented billions of dollars in potential liabilities.
Responding to Xerox’s offer on Sunday, HP said in a statement that it would saddle the combined company with “outsized debt” and was not in the best interest of its shareholders.
However, HP left the door open for a deal that would involve it becoming the acquirer of Xerox, stating that it recognized the potential benefits of consolidation.
“With substantive engagement from Xerox management and access to diligence information on Xerox, we believe that we can quickly evaluate the merits of a potential transaction,” HP said in its statement.
The move puts pressure on Xerox to open its books to HP. Xerox did not immediately respond on Sunday to a request for comment on whether it will engage with HP in negotiations as the potential acquisition target, rather than the acquirer.
HP on Sunday published Xerox CEO John Visentin’s Nov. 5 offer letter to HP, in which he stated that his company was “prepared to devote all necessary resources to finalize our due diligence on an accelerated basis.”
Activist investor Carl Icahn, who took over Xerox’s board last year together with fellow billionaire businessman Darwin Deason, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week that he was not set on a particular structure for a deal with HP, as long as a combination is achieved. Icahn has also amassed a 4% stake in HP.
Xerox had offered HP shareholders $22 per share that included $17 in cash and 0.137 Xerox shares for each HP share, according to the Nov. 5 letter. The offer would have resulted in HP shareholders owning about 48% of the combined company. HP shares ended trading on Friday at $20.18.
Many analysts have said there is merit in the companies combining to better cope with a stagnating printing market, but some cited challenges to integration, given their different offerings and pricing models.
Xerox scrapped its $6.1 billion deal to merge with Fujifilm last year under pressure from Icahn and Deason.
Xerox announced earlier this month it would sell its 25% stake in the joint venture for $2.3 billion. Fujifilm also agreed to drop a lawsuit against Xerox, which it was pursuing following their failed merger.

Test for new HP CEO
In 2011 as the centerpiece of its unsuccessful pivot to software. Little over a year later, it wrote off $8.8 billion, $5 billion of which it put down to accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures.
More recently, HP has been struggling with its printer business segment recently, with the division’s third-quarter revenue dropping 5% on-year. It has announced a cost-saving program worth more than $1 billion that could result in its shedding about 16% of its workforce, or about 9,000 employees, over the next few years.
Xerox’s stock has rallied under Visentin, who took over last year as CEO. However, HP said on Sunday that a decline in Xerox’s revenue since June 2018 from $10.2 billion to $9.2 “raises significant questions” regarding the trajectory of Xerox’s business and future prospects.