Hewlett-Packard's proposed Autonomy deal opposed by former Autonomy's CFO

Hewlett-Packard’s proposed settlement of a federal shareholder lawsuit over its $11 billion purchase in 2011 of British software company Autonomy is being opposed by Autonomy’s former Chief Financial Officer Soshovan Hussain.

Under the settlement, HP officials would be absolved of wrongdoing, and HP would assist its shareholders in suing Autonomy’s CEO Michael Lynch and Hussain.

But in his filing, Hussain, who’s an HP shareholder, said the settlement would limit his ability to examine HP’s wrongdoing “when a suit is brought seeking to blame him instead.” Moreover, the deal would “bury from disclosure the real reason for its 2012 write-down of Autonomy: HP’s own destruction of Autonomy’s success after the acquisition.”

In response, Howard Clabo, HP’s senior vice president of global communications, called Hussain’s opposition to the settlement baseless.

“We look forward to the day when a jury gets to hear the evidence of Mr. Hussain’s conduct,” Clabo said. “We strongly believe that at the end of the process, the jury will conclude that Mr. Hussain engaged in a multibillion dollar fraud.”

Autonomy has been a major headache for HP. After buying the company, the tech giant later wrote off $8.8 billion of the purchase, claiming it had been duped into paying too much for the firm. HP has long claimed that Autonomy executives improperly inflated the value of their company before HP bought it, a claim Lynch has steadfastly denied.

U.S. and British authorities are investigating HP’s allegations.

Photo by Kristina Sangsahachart, Daily News

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Steve Johnson covers the microchip industry, cyber security and the big-technology sector that includes Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Cisco Systems.