HP to pay $100m to settle Autonomy dispute

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Hewlett-Packard is to pay $100m (£65m) to settle a lawsuit brought by a Dutch pension fund over its controversial $11bn purchase of British software firm Autonomy.

The Californian technology company confirmed on Tuesday it had struck an agreement with PGGM Vermogensbeheer, which launched a claim for damages after HP’s decision to write down the value of Autonomy by $8.8 bn. HP blamed accounting improprieties at Autonomy, and its share price crashed after the announcement.

“While HP believes the action has no merit, it is desirable and beneficial to HP and its shareholders to resolve settle the case as further litigation would be burdensome and protracted,” the company said.

Under the terms of the settlement, HP’s insurance will pay $100m to a settlement fund that will be used to compensate those who bought HP shares during the period from 19 August 2011 to 20 November 2012.

“No individual is contributing to the settlement. HP and its current and former officers, directors, and advisors will be released from any Autonomy-related securities claims as part of the settlement,” HP said.

Autonomy’s founder, Mike Lynch, who is thought to have made much of his estimated £500m fortune from selling his company, is locked in a legal tussle with HP, which has accused him of fraud. He and his finance director, Sushovan Hussain, deny all claims that they misrepresented Autonomy’s financial performance, but HP is seeking $5.1bn in damages from them in a suit filed in the UK high court.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Juliette Garside, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 9th June 2015 19.02 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010