HP this morning filed a legal response to former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain, filled with accusations about his alleged part in what HP describes as “the massive fraud on HP.”
This stems from HP’s purchase of British software company Autonomy for $US11 billion in 2011. Less than a year later, HP wrote off $US8.8 billion and alleged that Autonomy had improperly inflated its revenues and margins, to the tune of $US5 billion. HP called it fraud.
Autonomy execs have vehemently denied this, saying that it was HP’s own mismanagement of the company after it was purchased that caused the problems and the write-down.
HP CEO Meg Whitman was a freshman on HP’s board when the acquisition took place. The write-down occurred after she took over as CEO. At one point, Whitman publicly admitted that HP “paid too much” for Autonomy.
Multiple shareholder lawsuits against HP ensued. In June, HP announced it was settling three shareholders lawsuits and that it agreed to hire the shareholders’ lawyers, paying them at least $US18 million and as much as $US48 million to help HP sue Autonomy.
Last month, former Autonomy CFO Hussain filed a motion challenging the terms of this settlement, calling it “collusive.”
And the two parties continue to argue, using language that seems more appropriate for a bad “made for TV movie” than for the corporate world.
HP’s legal response filed today is no different. We’ve embedded it below so you can read it for yourself and here’s a link to Hussain’s motion.
We’ve reached out to Hussain for a response on this latest move by HP, and will update when we hear back.
In the meantime, we can summarize what both sides have been saying about each other taken from years of statements given to Business Insider: Autonomy’s former executives blame HP’s executives for problems after the acquisition and say that HP has yet to share evidence about the alleged fraud. HP says (as it does below) that it plans to take legal action against Autonomy executives and is still in the process of gathering evidence.
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