HP takes $100 million hit on Autonomy

Hewlett-Packard said Tuesday it had reached a settlement in a securities class action lawsuit over its acquisition gone awry of British tech company Autonomy.

The company’s insurers will pay $100 million to a settlement fund to compensate people who bought HP shares between Aug 19, 2011 and November 20, 2012.

The suit was filed over an $8.8 billion non-cash impairment charge the tech giant took on Nov. 20 2012, with more than $5 billion attributed to “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations” it uncovered during an internal investigation following the Autonomy acquisition.

The Palo Alto firm said it believes the class action lawsuit had no merit, but that it preferred to settle rather than engage in “burdensome and protracted” litigation.

In 2011, HP bought Autonomy, a software infrastructure company specializing in data analysis, for $10 billion under then CEO Leo Apotheker. Apotheker was fired a month later and replaced him with current CEO Meg Whitman.

The agreement announced Tuesday was with GGM Vermogensbeheer B.V., the lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.

The settlement is subject to court approval, HP said.

Photo: The Hewlett-Packard sign in front of the company (Kirstina Sangsahachart/ Daily News)


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