Seeking to counter a barrage of negative news reports, a senior executive with Hewlett-Packard Co. said today the company has no plans to abandon its controversial $25 billion bid to acquire Compaq Computer Corp
Seeking to counter a barrage of negative news reports, a senior executive with Hewlett-Packard Co. said today the company has no plans to abandon its controversial $25 billion bid to acquire Compaq Computer Corp.
"There is no thinking of calling off the merger," said Webb McKinney, who heads HPs merger acquisition team, in a conference call with reporters.
The news conference followed recent speculation by market analysts that HP might withdraw its merger proposal in light of last weeks rejection of the deal by the companys largest shareholder, the Packard family foundation.
McKinney, a 32-year HP veteran appointed by company Chairman Carly Fiorina
to oversee the planned acquisition of Compaq, insisted that the deal remains on track, and sought to dispel what he claimed were misperceptions being reported about the merger.
In particular, McKinney accused critics of misrepresenting the goals of the deal, the two companies reliance on PC sales, overlaps in product lines, and even HP employee morale.
The conference call with reporters today coincides with stepped up efforts by leaders of both companies to lobby harder for the merger, which in recent weeks has suffered a number of setbacks, including the publicized rejection of the deal
by the heirs of HPs co-founders.
Last Friday, HPs largest shareholder, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, announced a preliminary decision to vote against the merger. Faced with opposition from the foundation and Hewlett family heirs, which together control about 17 percent of HP stock, many analysts have speculated that the deal would collapse.
McKinney sought to downplay the rejection of the merger by HP heirs, and noted that the foundations view of the deal was not likely to be shared by institutional investors, who hold control the majority of HP stock.