HP: SAP Wants To Buy Some Of Our Software Units And We Keep Saying No

SAP co-ceo bill mcdermott on oracle

Last month, during a trip to London, HP CEO Meg Whitman praised Autonomy’s big data tech, calling it “almost magical” and declaring HP was “committed to Autonomy.”

Turns out, that commitment may have come after HP had floated Autonomy on the market, trying to get a buyer and even approaching SAP, Bill McDermott, co-chief exec of SAP, told The Times of London’ Nic Fildes:

“We were aware that it was on the market at one time but were never seriously interested in Autonomy,” McDermott said to Fildes.

That’s not surprising. The $11 billion Autonomy fiasco was the signature deal of then HP CEO Leo Apotheker. Prior to joining HP, Apotheker was the CEO of SAP and after a mere nine months, SAP let him go.

Although SAP was aware that Autonomy was on the market, SAP never engaged in talks with HP, a SAP spokesperson told Business Insider.

An HP spokesperson told us that this report is backwards and it was SAP approaching HP. Here’s the statement HP sent us:

“Contrary to reports in the media, HP has no interest is selling Autonomy. During the past year, we’ve received inquiries from SAP about purchasing HP software assets, and time and again we’ve said “no.”  We believe Autonomy will play an important role in HP’s long-term strategy.”

So, if you’re keeping track: Oracle didn’t want Autonomy. Oracle says it was approached about a sale before HP bought it. Dell didn’t want Autonomy, turning it down before HP bought it, too. Now, SAP didn’t want Autonomy, either, turning it down after HP bought it.

HP sunk $11 billion into Autonomy, and then wrote-off $8.8 billion, and made accusations of $5 billion of fraud (which Autonomy founder Mike Lynch denies).

HP is facing multiple shareholder lawsuits over the mess, including a new suit, seeking $1 billion in damages, filed this month.

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