Activist investor Carl Icahn has confirmed speculation that he hold a stake in HP, claiming that a merger with Xerox is the best way forward for both vendors.
In an interview The Wall Street Journal, Icahn revealed for the first time that he holds 4.24 per cent worth of HP stock, below the five per cent that would have required him to disclose his position, alongside a previously disclosed 10.6 per cent stake in Xerox.
Icahn believes that it is in the best interests of both companies to join forces, the WSJ said - but the investor said he is open to how a potential deal would be structured.
The current proposal from Xerox is that it would acquire HP, despite the fact HP's market cap is over three times larger than Xerox's own.
"I think a combination is a no-brainer," Icahn said. "I believe very strongly in synergies.
"There will probably be a choice between cash and I would much rather have the stock, assuming there's a good management team."
Icahn said that he started buying HP stock at the start of this year, after its share price plummeting as a result of disappointing results.
The potential cost savings of the merger are mooted at around $2bn.
Icahn was a vocal figure when Xerox's future was being decided last year and played a key role in scuppering the vendor's proposed merger with Fuji Xerox - a joint venture with Fujifilm. Xerox announced the sale of its share of the venture last week.
The investor told the WSJ that it was the Xerox CEO who suggested the possibility of a tie-up with HP, as far back as last November.
Some say performance, others say money but it may be systems and processes that carry the day
At Juniper Network's EMEA conference, partners told CPI what they make of Juniper's bid to take on Cisco in the enterprise space using its MIST acquisition
View all of the photos from last week's Channel Innovation Awards in New York
But Q3 is still the second best quarter of server shipments on record, logging 'near historic highs', despite a slump from Q3 2018