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HP demands €3.7 Billion from former Autonomy bosses

by on13 February 2024

If only there were a good accounting software which could help out

The former maker of expensive printer ink HP is after a whopping €3.7 billion from the former bosses of Autonomy, who fiddled the books to sell the company for a staggering €10.2 billion.

A London judge ruled last year that founder Mike Lynch and his sidekick Sushovan Hussain cooked the numbers to trick HP into buying the software firm in 2011.

The pair are now facing the music in the US, where Lynch is awaiting a criminal trial after being shipped across the pond. Hussain has already been banged up for his part in the scam.

For those who came in late, HP agreed to buy the British accounting company Autonomy for a massive €39.1 per share, paying nearly 80 per cent more than its market value and ignoring many warnings that it was not doing as well as it appeared. At the time HP wanted to become the next SAP, although no one was really sure what that did either.

The deal was slammed as "ridiculously high", a "desperate move" and a "hasty" bid to boost HP's profits by growing its software business.

Both HP and Autonomy boards gave the green light to the deal and Autonomy urged its shareholders to take the offer. On 3 October 2011, HP sealed the deal, snapping up about 87 per cent of the shares for €9.5 billion and valuing the firm at €10.8 billion.

In September 2020, Deloitte, who audited Autonomy between 2009 and 2011, were fined £15m for its audits that contained “serious and serial failures”.

HP's lawyers reckon Lynch and Hussain owe them more than €3.7 billion for the losses they caused, according to papers filed for a hearing on Monday. This is down from their earlier claim of €4.6 billion, after they found some more evidence.

Last modified on 13 February 2024
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