Walter Hewlett, board director and son of Hewlett Packard (HP) co-founder Bill Hewlett, has released a third report predicting failure if the proposed merger with Compaq goes ahead.
Hewlett's objections to the $22.5bn deal are well publicised and his latest stand, stating that HP "optimistically assumes it can succeed where others have failed", has forced both parties onto the defensive once more.
"Given that past computer mergers failed during the greatest IT spending boom in history, it is far riskier to attempt a complex global integration during the current severe recession in technology spending," he said in a statement.
Compaq chief executive Michael Capellas responded yesterday, saying that early successes were important to silence mixed opinions. Speaking to Reuters, Capellas said that he was "absolutely determined to get the vote in March".
The Hewlett report, compiled by San Francisco consultancy Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, cites further examples of HP and Compaq acquisitions that, in Hewlett's view, resulted in disappointing earnings and poor stock price performance.
And prominent industry figures share Hewlett's reservations. Speaking on the On24 analyst network, technology author Steve Harmon described the HP/Compaq merger as "two bleeding patients administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation to one another whilst under water".
Shareholders will vote in March on the proposed deal, which HP chief executive Carly Fiorina hopes will produce a services company to rival IBM with estimated revenues of around $79bn (£55.8bn).
European regulators are expected to reveal today (31 January) whether they will approve the deal or extend investigations by four months.
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