Hewlett-Packard close to settling shareholder lawsuit over Autonomy

The lawsuit centers on accounting irregularities that led to an $8.8 billion writeoff

Hewlett-Packard is in "serious" talks about settling a lawsuit brought by shareholders over its troubled acquisition of infrastructure software vendor Autonomy.

"HP is in serious discussions to settle the shareholder derivative litigation related to Autonomy, but no final deal has been reached yet," HP said in a message posted on its website.

In October 2011, HP spent more than US$10 billion to acquire Autonomy, which develops software for searching and managing information. But after discovering what it called serious accounting irregularities, HP wrote off $8.8 billion of the purchase price.

Shareholders filed suit in 2012, alleging that HP "knew or should have known" that corporate governance firms, auditors and other parties had called Autonomy's market value into question due to concerns about its accounting methods.

Autonomy founder and CEO Mike Lynch, who was ousted from HP in May 2012, has vigorously denied any wrongdoing, saying the company was aware of Autonomy's accounting practices before the acquisition, and has engaged in a smear campaign against Lynch and others.

HP bought Autonomy under the leadership of its former CEO, Leo Apotheker, who was replaced by current CEO Meg Whitman after a short and rocky run in the job.

Lynch responded to reports of the lawsuit settlement in a statement posted on a website he created to mount a public defense against HP's claims.

"We continue to reject HP's allegations, and note that over recent months a number of documents have emerged that prove Meg Whitman misled her shareholders," the statement reads. "We hope this matter will now move beyond a smear campaign based on selective disclosure and HP will finally give a full explanation."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AutonomylegalCivil lawsuitsMeg WhitmansoftwareLeo ApothekerMike LynchHewlett-Packard

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?