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HP asks judge to toss Hewlett suit

The company asks a Delaware judge to throw out a lawsuit from dissident director Walter Hewlett, who is seeking to kill Hewlett-Packard's pending merger with Compaq.

Hewlett-Packard on Monday asked a Delaware judge to throw out a lawsuit from dissident director Walter Hewlett, who is seeking to stop HP's pending merger with Compaq Computer.

Hewlett sued HP last week, asking the Delaware Chancery Court to nullify the results of a March 19 HP shareholder vote. Hewlett charges that HP improperly influenced Deutsche Asset Management (a unit of Deutsche Bank) to change its vote in favor of the deal. Hewlett also alleges that HP failed to disclose details of problems with its integration efforts.

In Monday's filing, HP says there is no legal basis to throw out the results, according to spokeswoman Rebeca Robboy.

"Even if the allegations were true, which they are not, they do not provide any basis for legal relief," Robboy said.

A representative for Hewlett was not immediately available for comment.

HP says it has won a slim but decisive majority of votes from the March 19 vote. Yet Hewlett has refused to concede. Both sides are awaiting a final tally from IVS Associates, the independent firm charged with counting the votes.

Compaq shareholders on March 20 approved the merger by a wide margin.

HP's filing comes a day after its board of directors voted not to renominate Hewlett for another term as an HP director.