David Woodley Packard, son of Hewlett-Packard co-founder, David Packard, has launched his own investigation into how the showdown vote on the proposed $22.3bn merger with Compaq will go.
In the latest twist to the saga, merger opponent Packard Jr has paid the Field Research company in the region of $100,000 to conduct a poll of 4,600 HP employees based in Carvallis, Oregon.
HP claims that 65 per cent of its staff favours the deal, according to its own figures, but Packard claims this figure is misleading.
"Here's an opportunity for a professional pollster to get at the truth about this," he said. The results are due early next week.
Walter Hewlett, son of other co-founder Bill Hewlett, has also been heavily campaigning for a 'no' vote.
Despite heavy cynicism among the analyst community, HP's Carly Fiorina and Michael Capellas of Compaq are both confident of employee and shareholder support.
Next month's vote, on 19 March, is unlikely to be the end of the story, with appeals and other potential legal complications getting in the way.
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