Photocopier and printer giant Xerox (NYSE:XRX) has improved its bid to purchase computer and printer company HP (NYSE:HPQ). Previously offering $22 per share, the offer was increased to $24 per share on Tuesday, $18.40 of which would be passed along to HP shareholders as cash. The remainder would be in the form of Xerox shares, with each HP investor receiving 0.149 shares of Xerox for every one share of HP stock owned.

Another chapter in the Xerox, HP story

The development extends what's become a heated saga that first took shape in early November, when Xerox made its first official overture to the computer giant. That initial offer valued HP around $33.5 billion, and, like Tuesday's, was a mostly cash offer.

Man handing cash to another man in a business deal.

Image Source: Getty Images.

HP's board of directors rejected that bid in no uncertain terms though, telling the suitor that price underestimates the potential of a reinvigorated HP. Xerox pushed back, threatening to initiate a hostile takeover of the company if an amicable one was out of reach.

The company has yet to act on that threat, though did underscore the prospect in early January when it announced it had secured $24 billion worth of funding to move forward with the deal, whichever approach would be required.

Activist inspired

The push for the pairing of the two companies is seemingly being supplied by Carl Icahn, who holds roughly 4% of HP shares and owns almost 11% of Xerox. The activist investor would be one of the biggest immediate beneficiaries of the transaction in question, though the long-term synergies of a united HP and Xerox remain unclear to some analysts.