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Autonomy founder hits out at HP accusations; suggests acquisition 'botch up'

The former Autonomy head, whose company was bought by HP in 2011, claimed the computing giant "botched up" the acquisition.
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Written by Zack Whittaker, Writer-editor on
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Autonomy's former chief executive has pointed the finger at HP's mishandling of his company's acquisition, which resulted in the computing giant's subsequent claims of "serious accounting improprieties."

In a Monday morning interview on CNBC, Mike Lynch claimed that HP "botched up handling" the deal, which was worth £7.1 billion ($11.3 billion) in 2011.

But Lynch and Autonomy have since been embroiled in a spat of words and controversy ever since after HP took a $8.8 billion writedown in 2012. HP claimed the massive charge was as a result of Autonomy's accounting practices, as well as "disclosure failures" and "outright misrepresentations" prior to the acquisition.

Lynch confirmed that he had heard "very little" from regulators and investigators looking into the deal, and described the ongoing dispute as a "great shame."

The former Autonomy head said the accusations will not affect his new technology fund, Invoke Capital, which raised $1 billion from investors in a couple of weeks. The fund is focused on European technology companies, citing British universities being as good as MIT or the Stanfords, but noted that there was little "turning into impact."

HP said in a statement to CNBC that it continued to co-operate with the authorities, but would not disclose information that "would interfere with any of the investigations into this matter."

The computer giant confirmed it was "committed" to Autonomy and its technology.

Correction at 4:13 p.m. ET: Corrected the summary; Autonomy was bought by HP in 2011, not 2001.

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