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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
HP board ditches merger rebel
Compaq-HP logos
Computer mega-merger is not yet a done deal
Hewlett-Packard, the US computer giant seeking to merge with rival Compaq Computer, has said it will not re-nominate founder family's scion Walter Hewlett to its board of directors.

Mr Hewlett has been a prominent opponent of the plans to merge with Compaq and last week filed a lawsuit against HP alleging irregularities in how the company solicited shareholder votes for the deal.

The allegations that HP bought votes or improperly coerced shareholders to change their votes are false

In a statement, HP said its decision was based on Mr Hewlett's "ongoing adversarial relationship with the company" as shown by his recent decision to pursue in court his opposition to the merger plans.

Mr Hewlett was not immediately available for comment.


HP chairman Sam Ginn said the board had at a 27 March meeting decided to re-nominate Mr Hewlett but changed its mind after being "shocked" at the "spurious" lawsuit he filed.

In the statement, HP also defended itself against Mr Hewlett's allegations of vote-buying.

"The allegations that HP bought votes from Deutsche Bank or improperly coerced it to change its votes are false," it said.

Allegations that shareholders were misinformed about the merger were without basis, it continued.

"There is more information about this merger... than for any other merger in corporate history."

Too close to call

HP chief executive Carly Fiorina - architect of the merger plans - has claimed victory in the shareholder vote.

But the final tally is not expected to be known for several weeks.

Mr Hewlett, son of HP co-founder Bill Hewlett, controlled about 18% of the shares through family holdings.

He has said he believes the result is too close to call.

Shareholders will vote on nominations to the board on 26 April at the company's annual meeting.

See also:

28 Mar 02 | Business
Lawsuit disputes HP-Compaq merger
20 Mar 02 | Business
Compaq votes in favour of merger
20 Mar 02 | Business
Shareholders hail 'historic' vote
07 Mar 02 | Business
US regulators clear HP-Compaq merger
14 Feb 02 | Business
HP profits jump raises merger hopes
04 Sep 01 | Business
Profile: HP's Carly Fiorina
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