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December 31, 2012

US DOJ opens probe into HP’s Autonomy acquisition

HP had written off $8.8bn of goodwill and intangible assets relating to Autonomy business

By CBR Staff Writer

HP has said that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation relating to its £7.8bn acquisition of UK software firm Autonomy.

In November 2012, HP was being sued by shareholders who claim that the company deliberately made misleading statements about its controversial Autonomy acquisition.

HP said that it continues to believe that the authorities and the courts are the appropriate venues in which to address the wrongdoing discovered at Autonomy.

HP posted a revenue of $120.4bn for the fourth quarter of 2012, down 5% year on year, and the GAAP loss per share was $3.49.

In announcing the fourth quarter earnings, HP had revealed that it was writing off $8.8bn of goodwill and intangible assets relating to its acquired Autonomy business.

According to HP, the majority of the impairment charges, which is about $5bn, is linked to serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations discovered by its internal investigation into Autonomy’s practices prior to and in connection with the acquisition.

Mike Lynch, Autonomy founder and CEO at the time of the deal, denied the allegations.

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