Hewlett-Packard has announced its shareholders have approved its plants to merge with Compaq. A preliminary vote tally from the March 19 special meeting of HP shareowners shows that HP shareowners voted in favor of the merger by a margin of approximately 45 million shares. However Walter Hewlett, the main opponent of the merger plans, called the margin “extremely narrow”, and said that his court case aimed at scrapping the merger must be heard first before any outcome is determined.
H-P said votes in favor of the merger totaled approximately 837.9 million. Votes against totaled approximately 792.6 million. H-P claims almost half of the votes against were affiliated with the Hewlett and Packard families and foundations. An insignificant number of votes cast remain unresolved.
We are gratified the preliminary vote tally validates that HP shareowners voted the majority of their shares in support of the merger, said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and chief executive officer. We are eager to put this difficult period behind us and look forward to doing business as the new HP.
Walter Hewlett’s court case begins on Tuesday.
In the meantime if Walter Hewlett demands a recount, both parties will participate in a review of the proxies, which HP expects would begin promptly and last approximately one week. In addition, the final tally is subject to a challenge process that could take another one to two days. Following completion of any recount and challenge, the independent inspectors of election will release a final, certified vote tally.