Heirs get down and dirty as HP-Compaq plot thickens

San Jose, California: | Updated: Jan 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
With a stern rebuke in a newspaper ad and a scathing report to shareholders, sons of Hewlett-Packard Cos late founders hit hard at the companys $23.8 billion plans to acquire Compaq Computer Corp.

The bickering has been going on for months, as Hewlett and Packard heirs and foundations with 18 per cent of HP stock have pledged to vote against the deal. Meanwhile, only one major HP investor, with one per cent of the stock, is openly in support.

But the attacks have gotten harsher lately, with HP trying to discredit chief opponent Walter Hewlett as a musician and academic, not a businessman.

Yesterday, the son of co-founder David Packard took issue with HPs frequent use of a Packard quote - to remain static is to lose ground - in its arguments that buying Compaq is essential for survival.

In a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal headed there you go again! heir David W Packard wrote that HP chief Carly Fiorina is misleading people by claiming her disruptive merger plan is the only possible choice for HP other than keeping the status quo.