Business World

Wednesday 21 February 2018

No 'smoking gun' in $5bn Autonomy case, says Irish founder Mike Lynch

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch
Autonomy founder Mike Lynch

Paul Sandle

Tipperary-born technology entrepreneur Mike Lynch said Hewlett-Packard (HP) had failed to produce a "smoking gun" to back its claim that he masterminded a complex fraud to inflate the value of his Autonomy company by as much as $5bn (€4.5bn) before it was bought in 2011.

HP company is suing Autonomy founder Lynch and former Autonomy finance director Sushovan Hussain in London for over $5bn in damages over their management of Autonomy, the company it acquired for $11.7bn.

Mr Lynch said the contents of HP's claim were "a simple rehash of previous leaks and insinuations that add up to one long disagreement over accounting treatment".

"After three years of (HP ceo) Meg Whitman's stonewalling, is this it?," he said in a statement. "HP's claim is finally laid bare for what it is - a desperate search for a scapegoat for its own errors and incompetence."

HP said in its court filing it believed it was acquiring a rapidly growing software company that was gaining market share, but it turned out that Autonomy was not growing nearly as quickly as it appeared and was losing market share. As a result, it said it had overpaid for the Cambridge, England, based software group by at least £3.2bn, equivalent to about $5bn.

Irish Independent

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