HP declares victory (and no you can't see the votes)

Life is just one long Zimbabwean polling station

Hewlett-Packard today declared its victory in the proxy battle to takeover Compaq by a small majority. It bases this on a tally of the votes from major institutional shareholders. So all you retail shareholders, your proxy votes are important only insofar as the size of the majority.

So it's all over bar the counting? Not quite, Walter Hewlett Jr, the dissident director and son of a founder, who led the battle to stop the merger, refuses to concede defeat to Princess Fiorina just yet.

The count is expected to take up to four weeks to complete.

Tomorrow Compaq shareholders get their chance to bless the Sircam Merger. And then? Fifteen thousand people lose their jobs, top brass get their merger bonuses, and PC and server rivals swarm all over the accounts of two highly introspective companies beating themselves into one. ®'

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