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Autonomy's Mike Lynch slams HP for 'misleading' shareholders

Says HP CEO Meg Whitman has made 'defamatory allegations'
Wed Mar 19 2014, 15:14

Autonomy founder and CEO Mike LynchAUTONOMY FOUNDER Mike Lynch has lashed out at HP ahead of its shareholder meeting later today, claiming that the US firm has been 'misleading' its investors.

Lynch published an open letter regarding the ongoing dispute between Autonomy and HP on Wednesday. The two companies have been at odds since November 2012, when HP claimed that "serious accounting improprieties" took place at Autonomy before HP acquired it, which led to HP posting an $8.8bn loss.

The letter, sent to HP shareholders and released to the press, called upon the enterprise vendor's investors to "help put things right".

Of course it wasn't a very friendly letter, and as well as accusing HP of misleading its shareholders, he also accused the firm of "smearing" the Autonomy management team.

"As you are aware, Hewlett Packard remains locked in dispute with a group of its own shareholders and with the former management team of Autonomy over its purchase of Autonomy," Lynch wrote in his letter to HP shareholders.

"I write to you today to raise serious concerns about the way HP has conducted this affair, and to put forward a number of questions that HP management should answer. The evidence shows that HP is not just smearing us, but also misleading you, its shareholders. I ask you to help put things right."

Lynch's letter went on to slam HP for not providing enough evidence to substantiate its claims that Autonomy engaged in improper accounting practices.

"Instead, it has selectively leaked documents and information to the international media, frequently using material taken out of context to create false impressions and smear our reputations," Lynch said.

"I urge you to continue to seek answers to these questions. [HP CEO] Meg Whitman has made incendiary and defamatory accusations on behalf of her company. She should now present the detailed evidence that justifies those allegations."

Despite Lynch's claims, HP stuck by its guns in a statement sent to The INQUIRER. A spokesperson said, "As HP has previously reported, it uncovered numerous accounting irregularities at Autonomy prior to its acquisition by HP.

"HP reported those irregularities to appropriate civil and criminal regulators in the UK and US. HP continues to cooperate in ongoing investigations by those regulators." µ


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