‘IT deal will be sealed’

‘We have nearly completed the integration planning process,’ said HP integration team leader Webb McKinney and Compaq’s Jeff Clarke, in a memo.

‘One of our key goals from the start of this process was to make sure the new company would be prepared to open its doors and hit the ground running in the April-May time frame. We are on target to reach this goal.’

Before the companies officially merge, they must wait for the certification of its recent shareholders vote by IVS Associates, which said tallying the vote could take several weeks.

HP has said a preliminary tally shows that a slim majority of shareholders approved the merger, but HP director Walter Hewlett, who has aggressively opposed the merger, maintains the vote is too close to call.

As part of the integration process, the two companies have formed a ‘launch team’ and increased the number of employees working on the integration to 1,200 from 900 a week ago.

The team is working with the new executive committee on plans for pre and post-launch communication, according to HP.

Should the ballot count confirm HP’s claim of victory, the two companies must then complete and file necessary legal documentation with the regulatory and government agencies.

‘It is not realistic to expect that every decision regarding the new organisation will be finalised or announced on launch day,’ the memo said.

‘We must give top priority to decisions that maximise continuity and minimise service interruption in our customer facing organisations.’

The memo also said that Compaq and HP are required by law to function as competitors until legal close and the new company officially launches.

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