HP gets IR help in merger quandary

PALO ALTO, CA: Hewlett-Packard has hired consultants to help it

reach out to institutional shareholders. The company declined to specify

who has been hired to help with the outreach plans, but the timing is

significant.



The Packard Foundation, with a 10.4% stake in the company, has decided

to vote against the proposed Compaq merger.



Thus, HP is mounting an offensive to convince institutional shareholders

that the merger is in their best interest.



Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP, gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal

that highlighted her focus on communications. "This is a doable deal,"

she said. "We will be even more aggressive about our communications. I

have two priorities: to work with the investment community so they

understand the benefits of this deal and, second, to run the business."



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