Despite Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) voting in favour of the $22bn Hewlett Packard/Compaq merger, it admitted that Walter Hewlett's opposition to the deal is justified and realistic.
The proposed purchase has been the subject of much controversy, not least because Hewlett, member of the board and son of company founder Bill Hewlett, has attempted to block the deal.
"While Mr Hewlett makes a credible case that the risks associated with the transactions are real and material, we believe that management's upside scenario is achievable," ISS stated in its verdict.
Yet according to Gary Barnett, principal analyst at Ovum, this is not entirely good news for HP or Compaq.
"This is undoubtedly going to have an impact [on the outcome of the shareholder vote], but it's a long way from being a gung-ho endorsement of the move," he stated.
However, Peter Bradley, general manager of the HP Computer User Association (CUA) in the UK, said that the ISS verdict has cemented the future of the deal.
"In my view, logic now indicates that [the acquisition] will be passed, maybe with a lower majority than [HP chief executive Carly Fiorina] would have liked, but it will be passed," he said.
As for the feelings of HP CUA members, and indeed HP UK staff, Bradley indicated that there were mixed opinions at this stage.
HP shareholders will get to cast their votes on 19 March, with Compaq shareholders getting their say a day later. The results are expected to be announced during the following week.
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