Xerox Holdings Corp on Tuesday announced that it will be dropping its bid for a hostile takeover of IT giant Hewlett Packard (HP) owing to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“The current global health crisis and resulting macroeconomic and market turmoil caused by COVID-19 have created an environment that is not conducive to Xerox continuing to pursue an acquisition of HP Inc. Accordingly, we are withdrawing our tender offer to acquire HP and will no longer seek to nominate our slate of highly qualified candidates to HP’s Board of Directors,” Xerox said in an official statement.

Xerox, backed by strong support from HP’s fifth-largest stakeholder and investor Carl Icahn had been bullish on merging the two companies. Icahn owns a 10.85 per cent controlling stake in Xerox and 4.24 per cent stake in HP.

The company had launched an initial offer to acquire HP back in November 2019 offering $22 per share. The offer was rejected by the tech major who had said that the deal was not in the best interest of the stakeholders.

Xerox had then secured a $24-billion funding to proceed with its acquisition deal by directly approaching the stakeholders with its renewed proposal.

In a bid to further sweeten its acquisition deal the company in February had further upped its offer by $2 per share. It had raised its offer to $24 per share, the final deal amounting $34 billion. It had then launched a tender offer with the new price in March, a bid which has now been dropped in light of the pandemic.

“While it is disappointing to take this step, we are prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of our employees, customers, partners and other stakeholders, and our broader response to the pandemic, over and above all other considerations,” Xerox said.