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Hewlett-Packard starts investor relations campaign for Compaq deal

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Palo Alto, Calif.--In a last ditch effort to save its faltering deal to buy Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. has launched a nationwide investor relations campaign touting the deal's benefits. HP--whose proposed acquisition of Compaq was recently opposed by Walter Hewlett, a major shareholder, board member and son of co-founder William Hewlett--is running spread ads in newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. "Why it makes sense" read two-inch-high, bold letters on the left hand side of the spread. "Because the combined customers of HP and Compaq will represent a vast and newly powerful community of technology users," begins the text of the ad, followed by arguments that focus on the technological convergence benefits of the pact.HP has also sent a deal-touting letter, signed by CEO Carly Fiorina, to all of its institutional and retail investors. The letter focuses on the combined management team's ability to make the acquisition work.

--Philip B. Clark 

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