Categories: LegalRegulation

Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch Sues HP For More Than $150m

Autonomy boss Mike Lynch is suing HP for more than $150 million (£99m) in damages in the UK’s High Court.

Lynch said today that HP made “many statements that were highly damaging to me and misleading to the stock market”.

Battle

Today’s action is the latest punch in a long-running legal battle following HP’s acquisition of British software company Autonomy in 2011 for £11 billion.

Alleged dodgy accounting practices on behalf on Autonomy led the deal to turn nasty, with HP having to file an $8.8 billion write down of Autonomy.

In April of this year, HP launched its own major lawsuit in British courts, following the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in Britain closing its investigation into the sale of Autonomy citing ‘insufficient evidence’ for a realistic prospect of conviction of Lynch.

Today’s statement from Lynch reads:

“We are finally starting to see what really happened with Autonomy. HP’s own documents, which the court will see, make clear that HP was simply incompetent in its operation of Autonomy, and the acquisition was doomed from the very beginning.
“Evidence shows that at the time of the acquisition, HP was in chaos. Before going ahead with the acquisition they discussed firing their CEO. They then tried to abort the deal after closing, ultimately did fire the CEO, and generally fought amongst themselves like cats in a sack, causing Autonomy to disintegrate.
“HP wasn’t misled by us or anyone else - evidence will show they didn’t even read their own due diligence report.

It continues…

“Tragically, Autonomy is only one deal among the many that were mishandled by HP, which has written down $9 billion on three separate occasions since 2011. Every acquisition over a billion dollars that HP has made in the last five years has failed.
“Meg Whitman can explain all this to a judge when we finish this in court once and for all.”

HP has filed numerous times against Autonomy in both the UK and US, arguing that the accounting malpractice didn’t show the truth about the company: that it was in fact shrinking, alleges HP.

A HP spokesperson told TechWeekEurope: “Mike Lynch’s lawsuit is a laughable and desperate attempt to divert attention from the $5 billion lawsuit HP has filed and the ongoing criminal investigation. HP anxiously looks forward to the day Lynch and Hussain will be forced to answer for their actions in court.”

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Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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