MAKER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP has fired back at former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch's open letter by saying it expects to hear Lynch answer questions under oath.
Last week HP accused Autonomy's management of conducting a systematic scheme to inflate the firm's value ahead of its purchase and sent its findings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
After seeing Lynch's open letter demanding more information, HP said that it will take legal action against the parties involved "at the appropriate time" and that it looks forward to hearing Lynch and other Autonomy employees answer questions under oath.
Lynch issued an open letter yesterday in which he said, "Having no details beyond the limited public information provided last week, and still with no further contact from you, I am writing today to ask you, the board of HP, for immediate and specific explanations for the allegations HP is making."
He demanded that HP publish details of how the firm decided to write down $5bn and whether any part of that writedown was due to HP's "operational and financial mismanagement" after it acquired Autonomy.
HP's retort was to completely avoid addressing Lynch's demands and instead reiterate that it had "initiated an intense internal investigation into a series of accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations that occurred prior to HP's acquisition of Autonomy". The firm also said the matter is now in the hands of the SEC and the SFO and that the legal process is the best one to bring the facts out into the public domain.
While HP has said that it will take legal action against all those parties that it believes took part in the alleged swindle, the firm's own shareholders have sued the HP board of directors. HP's shareholders can expect years of legal wrangling before they see any of the writedown back. µ