The Channel logo


By | Neil McAllister 6th May 2015 00:57

HP lifts lid on Autonomy lawsuit claims, but Lynch cries BOLLOCKS

Former CEO maintains accounting-irregularity suit is baseless

On Tuesday, HP made public the details of the lawsuit it has filed against former Autonomy executives Mike Lynch and Sushovan Hussain in the UK, in what is just the latest round in litigation that is only likely to get uglier as the suit progresses.

"HP confirmed today that Particulars of Claim against Lynch and Hussain were served on April 17, 2015 by certain HP subsidiaries," the Palo Alto tech giant wrote in a press release obtained by The Register. "A copy of the Particulars of Claim is now publicly available from the High Court in London."

Among HP's charges are that former Autonomy CEO Lynch and former CFO Hussain engaged in improper accounting practices that artificially inflated the value of the firm ahead of its acquisition by HP in 2011.

HP is seeking damages in excess of $5bn from Lynch and Hussain, on claims that these alleged accounting irregularities ultimately forced HP to write down approximately 80 per cent of the $11bn that it spent to acquire Autonomy.

The company's Tuesday statement was very much in line with previous allegations it has made against the former Autonomy execs:

This conduct by Lynch and Hussain was systematic and was sustained for more than two years prior to the acquisition of Autonomy by HP. Its purpose was to ensure that the Autonomy group's financial performance, as reported in Autonomy's published information, appeared to be that of a rapidly growing pure software company whose performance was consistently in line with market expectations. The reality was that the group was experiencing little or no growth, it was losing market share, and its true financial performance consistently fell far short of market expectations.

The press release was accompanied by no less than 14 separate documents that purport to detail the pair's misdeeds.

As has been the case following previous public statements on the matter by HP, however, Lynch and Hussain did not miss a beat in rebutting HP's claims via their attorneys. In a letter and accompanying documents that the pair has asked be amended to HP's suit in California, the Autonomy duo described the printer-and-PC giant's charges as baseless, a claim we have also heard before:

HP's patchwork tale of alleged misconduct rests on a faulty foundation of false facts, unsupported inferences, and a misunderstanding and misapplication of the relevant legal and accounting standards.  Nearly two and a half years after HP announced its write-down, it is clearer than ever before that HP's claims are merely a tactic to obscure the true source of HP's and Autonomy's losses:  the wrongdoing and ineptitude of HP's own directors and officers.

Lynch has previously said he plans to counter-sue HP with a claim that he says "is likely to be well in excess of £100 million."

El Reg will take a closer look at the claims on both sides and will post a more detailed analysis of the increasingly hostile bunfight in the coming days. ®

comment icon Read 42 comments on this article or post a comment alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe