Hoping that the third time\u2019s a charm, Hewlett-Packard (HP) has again extended the deadline for Mercury Interactive shareholders to approve HP\u2019s US$4.5 billion pending purchase of Mercury.HP Monday extended its previously announced tender offer for all of Mercury\u2019s common stock until midnight Eastern time, Oct. 27.The previous tender offer expired at midnight Oct. 13. As of then, Mercury shareholders had tendered about 81.5 million shares. An HP spokesperson couldn\u2019t immediately be reached to determine how many Mercury shares HP requires to close the deal.HP first announced plans to acquire Mercury in July to enhance its presence in IT management software and services, a move that would boost HP\u2019s annual software revenue to more than $2 billion. Mercury has particular strength in applications management, while HP has traditionally focused on systems and network management via its OpenView software family. Mercury will also bring HP the Systinet registry and repository, software seen by analysts as key to any company committed to the popular service-oriented architecture model.While Mercury has a troubled past including the resignations of its chief executive officer, chief financial officer and general counsel late last year due to the incorrect recording of stock-option grants, HP continues to be bogged down in a boardroom scandal of its own.HP\u2019s troubles center on how company executives and third parties it hired behaved during investigations to identify the leaker of confidential information. Five people, including former HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, who was forced to quit the company last month, face felony charges in Santa Clara County, Calif., Superior Court. The charges relate to pretexting, or the use of false pretenses to gain access to individuals\u2019 phone records.-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Related Links:\n\nHP Spying Scandal\n\nHP Extends Deadline for Mercury AcquisitionCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.