HP, Shareholders Officially End Litigation Over Autonomy Buy
CEO Meg Whitman and HP board are absolved, but former Autonomy executives will not be exempt from any subsequent litigation.Hewlett-Packard and a group of shareholders came to an agreement June 30 to settle a total of three billion-dollar lawsuits involving HP's problematic $11.1 billion acquisition of U.K.-based big data analytics provider Autonomy in 2011. Reuters on June 27 had reported, and eWEEK carried the news, that the settlement was imminent. The settlement, reached through mediation conducted by retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker in California Superior Court of Santa Clara County, still is subject to court approval. Several weeks after HP's announcement in November 2012 that Autonomy had engaged in accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures before HP acquired the company, the lawsuits were filed against current and past HP directors, officers and advisers. As a result of the agreement, however, attorneys for the shareholders will drop all claims against HP's current and former executives—including CEO Meg Whitman, current board members and advisers to the company—the source told Reuters.
Former Autonomy executives, however, will not be exempt from any subsequent litigation. As part of the agreement, the shareholders' attorneys will assist HP in pursuing claims against Autonomy co-founder and former CEO Mike Lynch, its former Chief Financial Officer Sushovan Hussain and others related to Autonomy.