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Walter Jr sues HP over merger vote tactics

Deutsche Bank swayed

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Walter Hewlett, the dissident Hewlett Packard director, has filed a complaint in a Delaware court protesting against methods used by Hewlett-Packard to solicit votes for its proposed merger with Compaq.

Hewlett objects to the way HP obtained support for the merger from institutional shareholders, in particular from Deutsche Bank.

He has has asked the court to expedite proceedings in determining whether the vote on March 19 was conducted in a "full, fair and lawful manner".

On March 20 the San Jose Mercury News reported that Deutsche Bank, which controls 1.3 per cent of HP shares, voted for the merger, after earlier indicating it was going to oppose the deal.

Hewlett said the vote on the merger is too close to call, but HP expresses "confidence" that the vote has gone its way. Compaq shareholders have voted in favour of the merger and the result from HP shareholders is expected in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, HP is pressing ahead with its integration planning. Currently, more than 1,200 HP and Compaq employees have been dedicated to this task. ®

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