Xerox Corp yesterday joined the ranks of floundering giants to take massive hits against their profit-and-loss accounts to cover the cost of making armies of employees redundant. The Stamford, Connecticut company, which has regularly disappointed its fans ever since its core copier business started to go ex-growth in the early 1970s, is to lay off 10,000 of its 97,500 employees worldwide, in part to reduce management layers, and will take a restructuring charge of $700m or $6.82 a share against its fourth quarter figures. Settlement of a 1992 anti-trust suit related to parts and software will cost it another $154m net, or $1.50 per share. At least half the lay-offs – to be achieved by attrition, involuntary lay-offs and some controlled voluntary offers, will come next year and it is also closing some plants, but it gave no other timetable or details. It said it would close some plants but it did not elaborate. It is also considering outsourcing some of its operations. The initiatives we plan reinforce our basic commitment to participate in the growing opportunities in the digital publishing, electronic printing and colour markets, chairman and chief executive Paul Allaire said. The anti-trust settlement involves a class action suit involving selling spare parts for high volume copiers and printers to independent service organisations, and provides for changes in Xerox policy to enable sale of parts to independent service organisations and licensing of printer software. There are discounts of $225m to members of the plaintiff class for use as partial payment on future purchases of Xerox parts.
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