Both supporters and opponents of the HP-Compaq merger plans are anxiously waiting for the results of the shareholder vote on the merger. HP CEO Carly Fiorina claims preliminary results suggest a “slim but sufficient” majority of HP shareholders back the merger. But HP board member Walter Hewlett, the chief campaigner against the merger, insists the outcome of the ballot remains too close to call.
In a statement Fiorina says: We are gratified that HP shareowners recognise the compelling strategic and economic benefits of the merger and that a decisive majority of shares not affiliated with the Hewlett and Packard families appear to have voted in favour of this transaction.
We believe that with this endorsement from our shareholders, HP has an historic opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving industry.
Walter Hewlett, the rebel board member who has led the campaign against the merger, claims the result is too close to call. Hewlett says: It is simply impossible to determine the outcome of the vote at this time.
The official results of the ballot will not be known for several weeks. The merger placed an unusually large amount of power into the hands of individual investors after around 22% of HP stock came out against the acquisition, with about 9% publicly in favour.