Xerox has sold the information technology outsourcing arm of its business to French technology firm Atos for $1.05 billion. This will grow Atos by 9,800 employees spread across 45 countries. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2015, and Xerox has the potential to receive another $50 million at that time.
Despite selling this branch, Xerox has continued to evolve far past its copy-machine-laden image with the acquisition of a number of other businesses under the leadership of CEO Ursula Burns. Most notably, Xerox facilitated the $6.4 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Systems in 2010, making the company a major player in the business services industry.
“It’s an important strategic move for us. For Xerox, this a chance to really focus on really growing the businesses where we are strongest. We had a lot of success with the I.T. outsourcing business, but we were subscale versus the larger players," said Robert Zapfel, president of Xerox Services. “We think of Xerox as a services provider that drives productivity for our clients. We are an enabler for a large portion of the Fortune 500."
For rarely making headlines, Xerox is a strong company silently doing its thing. Company shares have risen roughly 14 percent this year, valuating Xerox at $15 billion. (For comparison's sake, Atos is down 9 percent in 2014 and worth $6 billion.)