Fuji Xerox Will be Changing Its Name in 2021

Jamie Bsales
Jan 6, 2020

Another inevitable aspect of the unraveling of the FUJIFILM Group/Xerox Corp. relationship has fallen into place: FUJIFILM subsidiary Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. has announced that it will be changing its corporate name to FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp. as of April 1, 2021. That date, not coincidentally, is the day after the technology agreement between the two companies expires, marking the official end of the long-running partnership between Xerox and FUJIFILM.

As part of the original agreement, first signed almost 60 years ago, FUJIFILM and Xerox Corp. shared development costs for the laser engines and other components that underpin their office MFPs (still called “copiers” way back then) and printers. Subsequent renewals of the agreements also defined manufacturing responsibilities and sales territories. The result was that FUJIFILM would sell office equipment via its Fuji Xerox subsidiary in the Asia-Pacific markets, and Xerox Corp. would sell in the rest of the world—and source its office MFPs/printers from the joint venture.

While Xerox Corp. got the lion’s share of the worldwide market, the agreement also left Xerox proper with no manufacturing capabilities for office products outside of the joint venture. The joint venture, meanwhile, got the promise of a steady stream of income from Xerox Corp.’s global (less APAC) sales efforts. Indeed, late in 2019 Reuters reported that the joint venture accounted for nearly half of FUJIFILM’s revenue.

Fast forward to the slow-motion dissolution of the partnership. Things began to sour after Xerox Corp.’s activist investors (led by Carl Icahn) scuttled the proposed sale of Xerox to FUJIFILM Holdings that had been negotiated by then-CEO Jeff Jacobson. (Jacobson was subsequently ousted, and now serves as CEO of Electronics for Imaging, Inc., which was purchased by Siris Captial in July 2019.) The separation took another giant step forward in November 2019 with the sale by Xerox Corp. of its share of the joint venture to FUJIFILM Holdings.

Once the technology agreement expires next year, the rechristened FUJIFILM Business Innovation will be free to sell printers and MFPs in the territories that are now the purview of Xerox Corp., while Xerox will be able to go after business in APAC. Xerox will also be able to source its products from other vendors, build its own, or even continue to purchase from FUJIFILM if it so chooses. That said, given the rocky divorce of the two firms—not to mention the current (but equally rocky) public courtship between Xerox and HP—it is unlikely that Xerox would be a FUJIFILM customer long-term.

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