Compaq investors back HP sale by 9-to-1

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21 March 2002 Compaq stockholders have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the company’s merger with Hewlett-Packard (HP). The vote comes a day after a much closer vote by HP stockholders, the result of which is not expected for some weeks.

In a low key meeting, Compaq shareholders voted by a ratio of nine to one in favour. This was widely expected since the Compaq proposal was unopposed at the meeting. A swift completion of the transaction will benefit Compaq, which has spent $50 million (€56.6m) promoting the sale since the deal was announced on 3 September 2001.

In sharp contrast, HP’s two hour meeting the day before was a stormy affair. While HP director Walter Hewlett, who has led opposition to the deal, received a standing ovation, CEO Carleton Fiorina was heckled.

But following an exit-poll, Fiorina claimed victory, saying the winning margin had been “slim but sufficient”. It emerged today that other HP sources between the winning margin was between just 2% and 3%. Fiorina – who has staked her reputation on the purchase – faces several anxious weeks before the final result is confirmed.

Compaq CEO Michael Capellas said: “We continue to believe that this merger will rapidly accelerate our strategy, improve overall earnings power and provide increased value for customers, shareholders and employees. With the HP vote now behind us and the Compaq shareholder vote Wednesday, we are very close to making this merger a reality.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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