HP to sue former Autonomy CFO over bungled acquisition settlement

Summary:The former Autonomy CFO, whose company was acquired by HP, said if a judge approved a settlement over the two firms' disputes, the "real reason" for the 2012 write-down would be buried.

Image: HP

HP said it will sue former Autonomy chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain after he tried to block HP's settlement of three lawsuits relating to its acquisition of the British software firm.

In the three suits, brought by shareholders and settled on June 30, the computing giant and its investors agreed to end efforts to force HP executives, including chief executive Meg Whitman, to pay damages to HP after its purchase of Autonomy was riddled with trouble.

By settling, the shareholders teamed up with HP to seek damages from former Autonomy officials, including Hussain, and its former chief executive Michael Lynch.

Autonomy, which was bought by HP in 2011 for about $11.7 billion , was alleged to have had "serious accounting improprieties" and "disclosure failings,"  according to HP , which was forced to report a write-down of $8.8 billion.

In a court filing on Monday, HP said that it was "ludicrous" that he should be "permitted to intervene and challenge the substance of a settlement designed to protect the interests of the company he defrauded," according to the Reuters news agency.

But Hussain said that should a judge approve the settlement, HP would be able to "forever bury from disclosure the real reason for its 2012 write-down of Autonomy."

That, he said, was HP's "own destruction of Autonomy's success" following the acquisition.


(via Reuters)

Topics: Hewlett-Packard


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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