Date set for HP-Compaq merger vote

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) announced Tuesday that a shareholder meeting to vote on the company’s proposed merger with Compaq Computer Corp. will take place in mid-March.

HP shareholders on record as of Jan. 28 will be allowed to vote on the deal during a March 19 meeting held in Cupertino, California, according to an HP statement.

The meeting will be closely watched as Hewlett and Packard family heirs have said they plan to vote against the merger. The Hewlett and Packard families and related organizations control close to 18 percent of HP stock. A number of large institutional investors, however, said they are optimistic about the deal and plan to vote in favor of the merger.

Compaq also announced Tuesday that it will hold a shareholders’ meeting one day after the HP session. The company will have its merger vote on March 20 in Houston.

Shareholders on record as of Jan. 28 will be allowed to vote. In addition, Compaq will mail out a proxy statement to investors on Feb. 6 containing information about the deal and voting procedures.

The European Commission has approved the deal, as have Canadian regulators. The two companies, however, are still awaiting approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

HP, in Palo Alto, Calif., is at

Compaq, in Houston, is at