HP “needs more time” to move ahead with fraud claims against Autonomy

By Peter Gothard
20 Jan 2014 View Comments
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HP has said it still requires more time to decide on its next legal move against Autonomy, who it is still engaged in legal action with over alleged accounting fraud before it acquired the information analytics firm.

In a legal case stretching since 2012, HP has been trying to sue Autonomy for allegedly overvaluing itself shortly before acquisition in 2011, when HP handed over $11.1bn. A writedown of $8.8bn was later made by HP on the company.

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HP has now revealed that its board has reviewed the advice given by a committee of indepent directors and has "made decisions with respect to the actions that it deems to be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders".

This actually means that HP is now in agreement with Autonomy's lawyers that the lawsuit should go on hold until 28 February 2014, with the board's recommendations being discussed in detail between 18 and 20 February.

US district judge Charles Breyer, who originally set the deadlined consultation with the independent committee, also advised back in November 2013 that HP shareholders could pursue a completely separate case against HP itself, and specifically its CEO Meg Whitman, for not revealing early enough that it believed it had overpaid for Autonomy, or at the very least that it suspected fraudulent activity from then-CEO Mike Lynch.

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