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HP Sued Over Autonomy Write-Down, Civil Securities Lawsuit Filed

HP Autonomy Write Downa and Civil Lawsuit

HP is being sued over its acquisition of Autonomy and the $8.8 billion write-down the company took following that purchase. An investor for the tech giant filed a class action civil securities lawsuit and in the court filing the investor claims that HP offered misleading statements and other improprieties in Autonomy’s financials.

According to Reuters, the lawsuit was filed on Monday in San Francisco. At this time, it is not clear if HP CEO Meg Whitman is named as a defendant in the case. While CEO Leo Apotheker oversaw the Autonomy acquisition, it was fully endorsed by Whitman before she took over the reigns at Hewlett Packard.

HP announced the massive $8.8 billion write-down at the same time it announced fourth quarter earnings. HP lost $6.9 billion on $30 billion in revenue.

At the time of its acquisition, Hewlett Packard paid a 58 percent premium above Autonomy’s share price.

After filing its write-down, HP claims that Autonomy hid its finances and that the hidden financials were a “willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics.”

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch has since gone on the offensive, claiming that HP was simply trying to deflect blame at a time when the company has been unable to turn a profit.

HP has promised to file a lawsuit against Autonomy, although that lawsuit has yet to reach a petition to the court.

Analysts believe that more lawsuits will follow from investors who believe HP should have done its homework more thoroughly before spending $400 million for a company worth half that price.

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