Sept. 4, 2001—HP buys Compaq in US$25 billion stock swap
Canadian analysts and user groups comment on the companies’ plan to jointly increase their service capability in the enterprise market.
HP said the organization would be divided into imaging and printing, access business, IT infrastructure and services.
Sept. 4, 2001—Resellers cautiously optimistic on HP/Compaq deal
“”Compaq has historically had a much stronger reseller relationship,”” says one reseller, “”My perception is they have more feet on the street walking the channel.””
Nov. 6, 2001–Founders’ offspring to vote against merger
Within hours of each, Walter Hewlett and David Packard announce they will not support the deal based on business reasons.
Nov. 20, 2001—Compaq exec insists merger with HP is on track
A member of the Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger team discusses the issues surrounding planning for an event that might never come, and one reseller isn’t convinced it will. “”I don’t think the powers that be checked with enough people before they decided to start baking this cake, and I think there’s a few ingredients missing.””
Dec. 12, 2001—HP: “”There is no thinking of calling off the merger””
Rumours begin circulating in early December that the merger might be doomed after the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, which holds approximately 12 per cent of the shares, says it will oppose the deal.
Jan. 31, 2002–Europe Union rubber stamps merger
The EU approves the deal without conditions.
March 1, 2002—HP, Compaq, address customer concerns over merger
Hewlett-Packard and Compaq spend the last few days before the shareholder vote drumming up support as the battle lines are drawn. Advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services released a report recommending the deal to its clients, while a survey of North American and European CIOs by Merrill Lynch revealed a great deal of dissent and indecision.
March 18, 2002–The votes are in
The 18th is the last day for HP shareholders to cast their ballots. In less than 24 hours HP CEO Carly Fiorina will claim victory by a “”slim but sufficient”” margin.
March 20, 2002–Compaq endorses merger
Shareholders vote in favour of the deal by a nine-to-one margin.
March 21, 2002—HP Canada chief: We’ll stand by all product lines
In an exclusive interview with ITBusiness.ca, HP Canada president Paul Tsaparis gives his thoughts on the merger, the integration process and life post-merger. “”Our No. 1 priority (is) to keep customer service levels high and keep the customer focus high and in turn the revenue will come along with that.””
March 28, 2002–Walter Hewlett takes the offensive
Co-founder’s son files a suit alleging HP coerced Deutsche Asset Management, a division of Deutsche Bank, into voting in favour of the merger. The suit claims that Deutsche Asset Management switched up to 17 million of its 25 million votes after HP included it as a co-adviser on a deal for a (US)$4 billion line of credit.
April 1, 2002–Hewlett dropped from board
HP announces it won’t renominate Walter Hewlett to it board of directors days after he files a suit contesting the shareholder vote.
April 8, 2002—Fiorina sees power shift in distributed computing
In her first public speech in months, HP CEO Carly Fiorina delivers the keynote at Oracle AppsWorld. Her address focuses on one of the key drivers of the merger, the power of transfer to customers, and the end of the death of the 40 to 60 per cent growth days.
April 15, 2002–SEC, feds open inquiries into merger conduct
The Securities and Exchange Commission asks HP to turn over documents and information related to its communications with Deutsche Bank about the merger, while the U.S. Attorney’s Office subpoenas it for information about the voting of both Deutsche Bank and Northern Trust.
April 18, 2002–The votes are in
According to an official preliminary vote count, shareholders voted in favour of the merger by three per cent, or 45 million votes. The Hewlett and Packard families hold about 18 percent of HP’s shares.
April 23, 2002–Co-founder’s son gets his day in court
On the first day of a trial spurred by Walter Hewlett, his attorneys ask that votes in favour of the merger be thrown out on the grounds both HP and Compaq misled shareholders about the merits of the deal.
April 30, 2002–HP clears last legal hurdle
Delaware Chancery Court Judge William B. Chandler III dismisses a lawsuit from dissident shareholder Walter Hewlett. He says he won’t appeal the dismissal and will discontinue any review and challenge of the tallying of the disputed votes from HP’s March 19 shareholder vote.
May 3, 2002–Done deal
HP closes the largest acquisition in technology industry history for (US)$18.69 billion in HP stock. Shareholders approved the deal by a three per cent margin.
May 6, 2002–New company will keep both consumer PC lines
HP announces it will continue to sell both the HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario computer lines.