HP settles shareholder suit on Autonomy takeover

Jul 01, 2014

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard said it has reached a settlement in a shareholder lawsuit over its 2011 acquisition of British software firm Autonomy.

The $10-billion deal led to the ouster of Leo Apotheker as chief executive of the US tech giant, and HP subsequently said it had discovered massive accounting irregularities which overvalued the British firm.

HP said in a statement late Monday it had settled the case with law firms representing shareholders, without disclosing any amounts to be paid. The settlement is subject to court approval.

Under the terms of the deal, HP said the plaintiffs "will assist HP in bringing claims" against Michael Lynch, Autonomy's former officer, and other former executives at the British company.

HP in 2012 asked US and British authorities to probe accounting issues at Autonomy as it reported a $5.5 billion writeoff in the value of the unit.

HP said at the time it had launched an internal investigation "after a senior member of Autonomy's leadership team came forward."

As a result, HP said it believed "that Autonomy was substantially overvalued at the time of its acquisition."

Lynch, founder of the software group Autonomy, has said that members of his management team are being unjustly blamed for the writedown.

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