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HP sets merger vote date

Let the people decide...
Written by Ben King, Contributor

Let the people decide...

HP has named 19 March as the day for its shareholders to vote on the proposed merger with Compaq. The merger has been dogged by controversy, and has come in for particular criticism from Walter Hewlett, board member and son of the HP founder. The success of the merger hinges on advice from a small advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which will play a crucial role in forming the opinions of the institutional investors which hold around 57 per cent of HP stock. If ISS gives the deal the thumbs down, analysts believe it will be effectively dead, the Financial Times reports. Only investors who held HP stock at market close on 28 January will be eligible to vote. Compaq shareholders are due to vote the following day, 20 March, but they are expected to approve the deal if HP shareholders give it the green light.
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