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Hewlett-Packard in talks to settle Autonomy lawsuits [Big News Network (United Arab Emirates)]
[June 28, 2014]

Hewlett-Packard in talks to settle Autonomy lawsuits [Big News Network (United Arab Emirates)]

(Big News Network (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) PALO ALTO, California - Hewlett-Packard is in "serious" talks with shareholders over ending three lawsuits connected to its disastrous $11.7billion (6.5billion pounds) purchase of British software company Autonomy, which within a year the US tech major wrote down by $8.8 billion (5.5 billion pounds) claiming it has been duped.

HP investors have however accused the executives including CEO Meg Whitman of failing to spot "red flags" and wasting corporate assets.

The discussions with investors are ongoing and no deal had been reached.

"HP is in serious discussions to settle the shareholder derivative litigation related to Autonomy, but no final deal has been reached yet," the company said in a statement.

HP has blamed "serious accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures" at Autonomy for its writedown, part of an $8.8billion impairment charge it took in November 2012.

Even as HP has launched its own investigation into the deal, US and UK regulators - the Serious Fraud Office of UK, US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have launched their own probe.

Financial Times quoting unnamed sources said the shareholders lawsuits have been settled and the company is likely to make a formal announcement on Monday.

As a result of the supposed upcoming settlement over the three lawsuits related to the purchase, shareholders are apparently willing to let HP executives, both current and former, off the hook.

However, the shareholders are keen to pursue case against Autonomy's former officials including former CEO Michael Lynch and its former CFO Sushovan Hussain, claimed Reuters.

"The precise nature of such claims and when HP might file them could not be learned." Lynch has steadfastly denied HP charge that Autonomy executives improperly inflated the value of their company before HP bought it.

In a statement on Friday, a spokesman for the former Autonomy management group said its members "continue to reject HP's allegations".

It added: "We hope this matter will now move beyond a smear campaign based on selective disclosure and HP will finally give a full explanation." Lawyers representing shareholders have in turn alleged that HP failed to dig deep enough into Autonomy's business before the deal and ignored warnings of accounting irregularities.

HP, its chief executive Meg Whitman and other executives have faced a federal lawsuit and two claims in state courts over the affair.

An out of court settlement would free the company and its chief executive to push ahead with filing charges and claims against former Autonomy executives while sparing HP executives from facing the probe during a court appearance.

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