Quoted: HP settlement over Autonomy purchase up in the air

“They want to destroy us through spin before the facts are tabled. If this was a multibillion-dollar fraud why were people paying us?”

Mike Lynch, former Autonomy CEO, talking about who else but Hewlett-Packard. As our own Steve Johnson has written, a proposed settlement would clear HP of wrongdoing in a shareholder lawsuit over its botched $11 billion acquisition of software maker Autonomy. After writing off $8.8 billion of the 2011 purchase, HP has accused Autonomy of funny accounting, saying the British company duped the Silicon Valley giant into buying it. For example, HP questions “dozens” of Autonomy’s contracts with resellers — worth more than $200 million — according to the Guardian. Both Lynch and former Autonomy CFO Soshovan Hussain oppose the proposed settlement. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said today the proposed deal contains a “potentially fatal” provision, according to Reuters. The provision would allow for HP to hire the plaintiff shareholders’ lawyers — who would get millions of dollars in fees — to pursue claims against former Autonomy execs.


Photo by Kirstina Sangsahachart/Daily News archives


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