Agencies hired in merger squabble

PALO ALTO, CA: All but one of Hewlett-Packard's board of directors

cosigned a statement in support of the company's proposed merger with

Compaq.



The one dissenting voice was Walter Hewlett, whose public statement

opposing the merger on behalf of the family and the William and Flora

Hewlett Foundation, put him at odds with the rest of the board and CEO

Carly Fiorina.



"With the founding members siding against the merger, the odds of

Fiorina's ability to survive are extremely low," said Ashok Kumar, a US

Bancorp Piper Jaffray analyst in a San Jose Mercury News interview.



David Packard, son of the late Dave Packard, joined Hewlett in opposing

the deal. Now analysts are waiting to see if the David and Lucile

Packard Foundation will join the dissenters. That foundation owns 10.4%

of HP's stock, Walter Hewlett and his foundation hold 6.2%, and David

Packard's own foundation has a 1.3% stake.



Walter Hewlett has retained Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher for

IR advice. Citigate Sard Verbinnen is working with HP.



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