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HP/COMPAQ: HP claims victory on early results

HP/COMPAQ: HP claims victory on early results

Hewlett-Packard claimed an early victory on Tuesday in its acquisition bid for Compaq, saying preliminary results indicate shareholders have approved the deal.

"Based on preliminary estimates, we believe we have received sufficient votes to approve HP's merger," said Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard's CEO and chairman, during a question and answer session with the press at the special shareholder meeting here. "We of course acknowledge this is not a final vote."

"A decisive majority of shares not affiliated with HP family and foundations voted in favour," she said.

HP tallied early proxy votes prior to the Tuesday shareholder meeting, Fiorina said, adding that the company expects only a small percentage of votes to trickle in from the day's voting here.

Official word on the vote is still not expected for "a few weeks", HP said in a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon. The decision will be revealed by independent vote counting firm IVS Associates.

Before HP claimed victory, Walter Hewlett, an HP board member and son of one of HP's founders and the principal objector to the deal, had issued a statement saying he remained optimistic about the vote. He's expected to comment on HP's claim during a press conference he will hold here shortly to discuss the shareholder meeting.

Scheduled for 3:30pm, the Walter Hewlett press conference will be held at the Cupertino Hilton Garden Inn. Those unable to attend can dial into it by calling +1-800-369-2192 from the US and +1-773-756-4624 from outside the US. An audiocast of the press conference will be broadcast online at http://www.votenohpcompaq.com.


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