Attorney fees guaranteed to be nixed, rest of deal at risk of scuttling by Judge
US District Judge Charles Breyer has rejected the proposed HP deal to end shareholder litigation against it, at least in part. In yesterday's hearing to move the settlement forward, the judge did concede that "something went terribly wrong" with the HP and Autonomy deal from 2011 and subsequent $8.8 billion write-down of the firm in 2012, but rejected millions of dollars in attorney fees to be paid by HP, by saying "that's out. I'm not going to approve the fee arrangement, period"
Deal turns shareholders' lawyers eye to Autonomy executives
Hewlett Packard and shareholder's legal representation have agreed to a settlement over the company's acquisition of software developer Autonomy, which has been wracked with allegations, and counter-claims of fraud and misrepresentation. Under the terms of the agreement, all claims against HP have been dropped, but former executives of Autonomy are still under the microscope, with the HP shareholders' attorneys now assisting HP in pursuing claims against them.
Mike Lynch pens letter, demanding HP reveal internal documents
Former chief of HP acquisition Autonomy, Mike Lynch, has fired off a missive accusing HP of misleading shareholders about his former company's accounting problems. In his letter, the executive claims that the company was smeared by HP in the days leading to HP's $8.8 billion write-down in 2012, and asked the shareholders to "help put things right."
HP, SAP claim quote by SAP CEO misinterpreted by paper
A pair of contradictory reports have surfaced today, regarding the potential sale of HP's troubled acquisition Autonomy to German software powerhouse SAP. Initially, the Times of London reported that HP had tried to sell the company to SAP, but a follow-up report from HP refutes all reports, with backup by SAP saying that an executive had a quote given in an interview misinterpreted by the UK paper.
Three executives narrowly re-elected to the board earlier this year
Hewlett Packard co-chairman Ray Lane has stepped down from his position at the company, and is taking two other board members with him. Lane is leaving following a narrow re-election -- and G. Kennedy Thompson and John Hammergren, also both elected by a close margin -- are departing as well. All three are leaving in part due to their roles in the Autonomy acquisition scandal that rocked the company in 2012.
Execs targeted for roles in HP's autonomy purchase
Amidst a growing movement to force out up to five of Hewlett Packard's board due to mishandling of the company's Autonomy purchase, shareholders have narrowly re-elected the existing members. Targeted members included John Hammergren, G. Kennedy Thompson, Marc Adreessen, Rajiv Gupta, and executive chairman Raymond Lane.
Accounting irregularities at heart of investigation
According to regulatory documents filed Monday, UK law enforcement has opened up an investigation into HP's claims that it was badly misled when it acquired software developer Autonomy. The inquiry by the UK Serious Fraud Office mirrors that of the US Department of Justice investigation that started at the end of 2012, after HP accused Autonomy of deceitful accounting and forged sales records.
Glass Lewis, ISS, CtW all seek exit of board members
Just before Hewlett Packard's March 20 shareholder meeting, a pair of proxy advisers are pushing for an ouster of several members of the board of directors. Investment firm Glass Lewis has recommended shareholders vote to remove venture capitalist Marc Adreessen, Rajiv Gupta, John Hammergren, and G. Kennedy Thompson from the board, with another firm -- ISS -- suggesting the removal of Hammergren and Thompson also. Both firms blame the directors for inadequate "due diligence" related to the controversial acquisition of British software company Autonomy that has dragged the company's financials down.
Improprieties, difference between US, EU accounting to be evaluated
The US Department of Justice has commenced an investigation into reports of accounting fraud at Hewlett-Packard's troubled acquisition, Autonomy. In November, HP had made its own discovery of potential fraud at the software developer, and submitted evidence to federal regulators following a write-down of $8 billion of the value of the company, for which it paid $11 billion a little over a year ago.
Deloitte, KPMG charged with missing obvious signs
The saga surrounding HP's multi-billion dollar Autonomy write-down took new turns and added new players today, with the announcement of a second shareholder lawsuit over the faltering computer giant's acquisition of the British software firm. The new suit names not only HP's board of directors, officers, and former executives, but also Deloitte and KPMG, two of the Big Four audit firms, as defendants. The suit alleges that the firms missed multiple red flags that should have alerted them to flaws in Autonomy's accounting.
HP rebuffs Lynch's request for details of accusations
The fallout from HP's $8.8 billion write-down on Autonomy continues apace, with former Autonomy chief Mike Lynch now requesting that HP provide more details on allegations that Autonomy engaged in improper accounting. Lynch has defended autonomy, claiming that the company's finances were "handled in accordance with applicable regulations and accounting practices," and states that he "utterly reject[s] all allegations of impropriety." HP, for its part, has challenged Lynch to submit to questioning under oath about Autonomy's finances.
Investor claims HP misled stockholders
An investor has filed a civil securities lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard, alleging that the computer giant misled stockholders with regard to its purchase of Autonomy. HP bought Autonomy last year, but just last week the company announced it would be taking an $8.8 billion write-down on the purchase, citing misleading statements and other improprieties in Autonomy's financials. Reuters reports that the civil suit is a class action lawsuit, and it was filed in a San Francisco court today. It is not yet confirmed, but the suit may name HP CEO Meg Whitman and former CEO Leo Apotheker as defendants.
Lynch says HP's allegations 'utterly wrong'
Mike Lynch, the former CEO of Autonomy, has strongly denied allegations by HP that his former company had engaged in "serious accounting improprieties" and willfully misled shareholders regarding its financials. Lynch has not yet hired a lawyer, but he is reportedly sitting down with former clients of Autonomy in order to sort out the numerous charges HP has leveled against the company and its former management. A good deal of Lynch's protest appears to hinge on differences in accounting standards between American firms and some firms based in other countries.
Fraud accusation overshadows HP's fifth losing quarter
Today, HP announced that it would take an $8.8 billion write-down on Autonomy, the British software company HP bought last year, claiming that Autonomy had misrepresented its finances considerably. HP bought the company for more than $10 billion last year in the midst of an abortive shift away from computer hardware production. The company now holds that Autonomy's balance sheets contained "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures, and outright misrepresentations" occurring prior to HP's acquisition of the firm.
HP may take big PC blow with exec VP Bradley
A rumor Monday suggested HP could face another serious hit to its PC business beyond the possible spinoff. Its executive VP for the Personal Systems Group, Todd Bradley, has reportedly been interviewing for "every CEO job he can." The maneuver is believed by BGR to represent Bradley's frustration with being passed over for HP's CEO in favor of the outsider Leo Apotheker.
HP rumored breaking out Personal Systems Group
A potentially landscape-altering rumor emerged Thursday that HP was about to split off the Personal Systems Group that controls its PC business. Contacts with "direct knowledge" claimed the division could happen just as it was set to announce its spring quarter results in the afternoon. Bloomberg suggested HP was hoping to reduce its dependence on computers, where its emphasis on a low profit margin was being hurt as more buyers were opting for iPads instead.