Software Warfare As HP Claims Autonomy Talked Up Finances Ahead Of 2011 Takeover

Meg Whitman claims the U.K. firm is guilty of “very concerning accounting improprieties” while Autonomy’s former CEO Mike Lynch fights back and accuses HP of mismanagement.

Software Warfare As HP Claims Autonomy Talked Up Finances Ahead Of 2011 Takeover

HP has entered into a war of words with U.K. software firm Autonomy, which it bought for $11.1 billion last year. The U.S. computer giant is claiming that it overpaid when it bought the U.K. software maker a year ago, due to accounting improprieties. This, HP says, is the reason it’s suffered an $8.8 billion write-down and huge quarterly loss, and has asked for investigations on both sides of the Atlantic. The FBI is also set to launch an inquiry, alongside the SEC and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office.

Mike Lynch, former CEO of Autonomy, has hit back at Meg Whitman’s claims, saying they are a smokescreen to hide HP’s poor financial results. “It’s [HP] managed the company very badly. It lost around half the staff before I left and the whole of the management team, and the value of the company has now fallen and they’ve been forced to write it off.”

HP is alleging that an Autonomy employee (and thus an HP employee) had blown the whistle on accounting misrepresentations, saying that the previously reported profit margins of 40% to 45% were actually closer to 20% and 28%.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live.For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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