HP's legal battle with shareholders stemming from its troubled $11.1 billion acquisition of the British software firm Autonomy is reportedly winding down.
According to Reuters, HP shareholders have agreed to drop all claims against current and former executives at HP, including CEO Meg Whitman.
Autonomy's co-founder and former CEO Michael Lynch, along with other former Autonomy officials, weren't quite as lucky. Shareholder attorneys and HP will go forward with claims against the former Autonomy leadership team that could include their misrepresentation of the company before the acquisition. Lynch has consistently denied HP's allegations of serious fraud on the part of Autonomy during the acquisition process, instead blaming the computing giant for shoddy management following the deal.
HP had to swallow an $8.8 billion write-down for its purchase of software company, and shareholders were looking to recoup some of the loss by seeking corporate governance changes at HP, attorneys' fees, and the freedom to pursue damages claims against executives responsible for the acquisition.
Update: A spokesperson for Autonomy's former management sent ZDNet the following statement:
It seems Meg Whitman will be using a large sum of HP's money to avoid explaining in court why she made false allegations regarding Autonomy in November 2012. We continue to reject HP's allegations, and note that over recent months a number of documents have emerged that prove Meg Whitman misled her shareholders. We hope this matter will now move beyond a smear campaign based on selective disclosure and HP will finally give a full explanation.