HP extends deadline for Mercury buy

Hewlett-Packard Co. has extended the deadline for Mercury Interactive Corp. shareholders to tender their shares in favor of the companies’ proposed US$4.5 billion merger.

As of midnight Eastern time Thursday in the U.S., when the offer had been set to expire, 67.8 million shares had been tendered in favor of the deal, HP said. The deadline is now extended to midnight on Sept. 28.

An HP spokeswoman in the U.K. couldn’t immediately say how many shares are required to secure the deal.

HP announced in July that it planned to buy Mercury in a move to strengthen its menu of IT management software and services. The combined company would be a stronger competitor to CA Inc. and IBM Corp.

HP has since been hit by a scandal over how it sought to identify the source of leaked information from its board meetings. The company has acknowledged hiring a private investigation firm that posed as suspect board members and journalists in order to access their private phone records.

HP Chairman Patricia Dunn is to step down over the scandal and California’s attorney general has said charges are likely to be filed.