Perot Systems

Xerox CEO defends ACS deal

September 29, 2009: 6:30 AM ET
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Xerox CEO Ursula Burns has made a bold bid for services company ACS. Photo: Xerox.

Xerox's new CEO bets big on services. Can she convince investors she made the right move?

Ursula Burns calls less than 30 minutes after the markets close on the most tumultuous trading day in Xerox (XRX) history, and she sounds, well, energized. Not quite 100 days into the CEO job, on Monday she launched the biggest acquisition bid in the company's history and survived a 15% drop in its stock price on record volume. And she's still standing.

"I was positively surprised that it wasn't as bad as it could be," she says, adding that she's ready to continue explaining the deal to Wall Street. "Exciting times."

Investors are understandably less sanguine than Burns. Her $5.7 billion cash and stock offer for outsourcing giant Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) would put $3 billion in debt onto the books, and more than double Xerox's employee headcount from 54,00 to 128,000. This, when investors had been expecting nice, safe stock buybacks. More

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