HP seals Autonomy buy

HP has secured control of British software company Autonomy at a cost of £7.1bn.

HP has secured control of British software company Autonomy at a cost of £7.1bn.

The company said that 87.3 percent of company shareholders had had now accepted its £25.50 per-share offer. HP hopes that the acquisition will cement its plans to become a leader in enterprise information management (EIM) systems.

"We are committed to helping our customers solve their toughest IT challenges. The exploding growth of unstructured and structured data and unlocking its value is the single largest opportunity for consumers, businesses and governments," Meg Whitman, HP chief executive said in a statement. "Autonomy significantly increases our capabilities to manage and extract meaning from that data to drive insight, foresight and better decision making."

Whitman took over from former chief executive Leo Apotheker — who had been in the role just 10 months — in September after "the decision that Leo Apotheker step down as president and chief executive officer and resign as a director of the company", HP said at the time.

Apotheker's decision to push ahead with the Autonomy purchase is thought to have been a factor in his departure.

The deal also sparked a war of words between Autonomy and Oracle, with the latter claiming that the Cambridge-based software company had "shopped" itself to Oracle earlier in the year.

However, Autonomy chief Mike Lynch denied that the company had tried to sell itself to Oracle, in a Wall Street Journal report. It later issued a statement addressing Oracle's claims, saying that the firm was misrepresenting slides that were used at a meeting between the two companies in April.

"Oracle seems a little confused about the sequence of events and origins of the data it has received, something that would suggests it needs better management of and insight into the unstructured data on its internal systems," Autonomy said. "We would be delighted to help."