HP vote on Compaq deal clears last official hurdle

By : |May 2, 2002 0



SAN FRANCISCO: Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday cleared a last hurdle to its
$18 billion acquisition of Computer Corp. when officials certified the HP
shareholder vote, opening the way for the new company to launch next week.

The largest merger in technology industry history was approved by a margin of
45.3 million votes, about 3 per cent of the 1.65 billion votes cast, the
official count showed, HP said.

                                 

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The results, expected after merger opponent Walter Hewlett lost his court
challenge and conceded the hard-fought battle on Tuesday, open the way for the
merger to officially close on May 3, with the new company launching May 7, HP
said.

Hewlett, the son of co-founder Bill Hewlett, said late on Tuesday that he
would work to help integrate the two companies, although he was kicked off the
board last week, following HP’s decision not to renominate him.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge William Chandler had rejected Hewlett’s suit,
in which he claimed that HP management lied to shareholders about financial
projections and bought votes from a key investor on the eve of the March 19
merger vote, which he tried to overturn.

That also vindicated chief executive Carly Fiorina, who forced the deal
through over the opposition of HP founding families and a host of investors who
saw the acquisition of No. 2 personal computer maker Compaq cheapening HP’s
technology portfolio.

Fiorina envisions building a technology powerhouse that could take on
industry leader International Business Machines Corp., offering one-stop
shopping and consulting services to customers.

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