HP Inc., the consumer technology unit spun off from Hewlett Packard, is being eyed as a takeover target by US copy machine giant Xerox, according to reports

Xerox is mulling a takeover deal worth $27 billion for HP Inc., the consumer technology unit created by the split of Silicon Valley-based Hewlett Packard, reports said Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal and CNBC reported that the photocopy machine pioneer was mulling a cash-and-stock offer, although nothing had been agreed.

A tie-up would unite two firms with storied histories: Xerox was founded in 1906 as a maker of photographic paper, named Haloid, and became a household name with its copy machine, first launched in 1958.

HP traces its history back to the firm founded in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, which began making audio equipment but ended up as one of the early leaders of the Silicon Valley tech industry.

Hewlett-Packard split in 2016, leaving the HP consumer division making printers and PCs, spinning off HP Enterprise as for cloud computing and servers.

Xerox developed some of the early technology for the computing industry through its Palo Alto Research Center, but never became a major player in the sector.