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Xerox, the deeply troubled everything-to-do-with-documents firm, has raised a $435m loan from GE Capital, part of the world's most untroubled company, backed by its UK equipment leases. The secured loan is repayable over 18 months and the two companies are talking about GE maybe taking over Xerox's lease financing in Europe.

Xerox says it now has a cash balance of $1.8 billion. Equipment financing is hugely profitable - but it has to be backed by a lot of cash - something Xerox does not have (it's in the red to the tune of $18bn).

By getting out of this financial service (the move was signalled in October when the full extent of the company's financial plight was first revealed), Xerox will remove $11bn of debt from its balance sheet. This will get it out of a pickle today, but it will ensure that it won't get so much jam tomorrow. But at least there maybe a tomorrow. ®

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