The toxic relationship between the former management team of Autonomy and Hewlett-Packard continues after HP launched a major lawsuit in British courts today.
The development comes after the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in Britain closed its investigation into the sale of Autonomy to HP in 2011, claiming there was ‘insufficient evidence’ for a realistic prospect of conviction.
However investigations are still continuing by US authorities.
The UK claim, filed by former Autonomy CEO Dr Mike Lynch (pictured left), is likely to be in excess of £100 million.
It comes after former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain filed a lawsuit in the United States last July, in an attempt to halt HP’s proposed settlement of three separate HP shareholder lawsuits to do with the troubled purchase of the British software firm.
HP pledged last August to sue Hussain, saying that former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch should also be “held accountable” for the alleged malpractices.
And now HP has filed a lawsuit in London for damages of about $5.1 billion (£3.5bn).
Reuters quoted a HP spokeswoman as saying that it had filed a claim against Lynch and Sushovan Hussain in the Chancery Division of London’s High Court on Monday, alleging they engaged in fraudulent activities while executives at Autonomy.
“The lawsuit seeks damages from them of approximately $5.1 billion,” the spokeswoman added.
In return, Lynch and co are seeking damages from HP in excess of £100m.
HP acquired Autonomy in 2011 for $11.1 billion (£7.3bn).
But the deal quickly went sour in 2012 after HP announced an $8.8 billion (£5.8bn) writedown, with Autonomy execs being blamed for creating inflated financials and accounting fraud.
The former Autonomy management team have always denied the fraud allegations and have in turn accused HP of “mismanagement” concerning the takeover.
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