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Tuesday wedding for HP and Compaq

Way paved for largest ever IT merger

Hewlett Packard has announced the official shareholder vote totals for its acquisition of Compaq reaching one of the final milestones in the troubled deal and clearing the way for the merged company to officially launch next week.

While a preliminary vote count already showed that HP had secured its bid to buy Compaq, an independent vote tabulation company has now released the final numbers, showing that 838m votes were cast in favour of the deal compared to 793m against the acquisition.

HP said it expects to close the deal on Friday and launch the new company on Monday.

HP also received good news for its merger plan yesterday, when a Delaware court rejected a bid to dismiss the shareholder vote.

Walter Hewlett, a former HP board member and son of one of the company's founders, had asked the court to review HP's tactics used to secure votes in favour of the deal from a Deutsche Bank AG division and to look over HP's publicly stated financial projections for the acquisition.

After the court cleared the vote, Hewlett issued a statement that said he would drop opposition to the acquisition.

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