shimmied over the last wall in the grueling obstacle course of its months-long
Wednesday afternoon the technology giant declared victory,announcing the final results of independent proxy vote counting firmIVS Associates. According to IVS' tally, H-P won approval by a marginof 45 million votes, approximately 838 million for the pairing and 793million against.
The formal tally comes weeks after two preliminary H-Pproclamations that it had secured more than 50% of the vote, and just oneday after former board member, major stockholder andfounder's son Walter Hewlett lost a suit in Delaware ChanceryCourt to have the proxy vote thrown out.
H-P shares were down 1% to $16.86 in Wednesday trading, whileCompaq rose almost 5% as elated investors anticipated a final send-offfor the troubled computer maker.
Hewlett alleged that H-P CEO Carly Fiorina improperly solicited thevotes of institutional shareholder and occasional banking partnerDeutsche Bank. Later, he complained that H-P's financial projectionsfor the post-merger entity were misleading. A Delaware judged ruledagainst Hewlett's claims, citing circumstantial evidence on thevote-swaying charge and a failure to prove the falsity of H-P fiscalprojections. Deutsche Bank controlled more than 25 million H-P shares.
At the company's annual meeting last week, Fiorina vowed to closethe merger by May 7. Hundreds of workers have been on the job formonths to orchestrate a smoother transition than those witnessed inother, failed combinations of large technology companies.