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Prior to agreeing to a blockbuster deal with Fujifilm, Xerox Corp. (XRX) - Get Xerox Holdings Corporation Report received an inquiry from HP Inc. (HPQ) - Get HP Inc. Report , according to people familiar with the situation, though no formal bid was ever launched.

That inquiry came in January 2018 Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson was in the midst of negotiating a blockbuster merger with Fujifilm, according to an amended complaint issued by Xerox's third largest shareholder, Darwin Deason, who has litigation pending in an attempt to block the Fuji-Xerox deal. 

The complaint alleges that Jacobson told an unnamed potential bidder that he needs to move quickly and "essentially discouraging him from making an offer."

According to people familiar with the situation, the unnamed possible bidder noted as unnamed in the complaint was HP Inc. No bid was ultimately made.

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Deason's partner in an effort to block the Fuji deal, billionaire insurgent Carl Icahn, hired an ex-Hewlett Packard executive as a consultant last month. TheStreet's sister publication The Deal had suggested at the time that Icahn's hiring of the consultant, John Visentin, suggested that the ex-corporate raider's ultimate goal was to drive the document processing company to sell itself to HP for a premium rather than merge with Fujifilm. 

Shares of Xerox were up 1.6%, or 48 cents, to $30.50 per share midday Wednesday. HPQ shares were up less than a percent to $22.09. 

Editor's note: This article was published on Monday, April 16 by The Deal, a sister publication of TheStreet that offers sophisticated insight and analysis on all types of deals, from inception to integration. Click here for a free trial.

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