HP sues former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch in the UK for US$5.1bn

31 Mar 2015

HP has confirmed that it is suing the former CEO of Autonomy Mike Lynch and the company’s former CFO Sushovan Hussain for in the London Chancery Division High Court for US$5.1bn.

HP acquired Autonomy in 2011 as part of a US$11.7bn deal.

However, when Meg Whitman took over as CEO from Leo Apotheker HP wrote-down US$8.8bn and said that it had overpaid by US$5bn for Autonomy.

Future Human

HP has alleged that Autonomy’s share price was inflated by software deals that had not been signed and this is the heart of the matter.

Lynch, who spent part of his childhood in Carrick-on-Suir has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, blaming differences in accounting rules.


Mike Lynch, former CEO of Autonomy

In January the UK’s Serious Fraud Office closed its investigation, saying there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of a conviction.

“HP can confirm that, on March 30, a Claim Form was filed against Michael Lynch and Sushovan Hussain alleging they engaged in fraudulent activities while executives at Autonomy,” the tech giant said in a statement.

“The lawsuit seeks damages from them of approximately US$5.1 billion. HP will not comment further until the proceedings have been served on the defendants.”

Both Lynch and Hussain say they will counter-sue.

“The former management of Autonomy announces today they will file claims against HP for loss and damage caused by false and negligent statements made against them by HP on 20 November 2012 and in HP’s subsequent smear campaign. Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch’s claim, which is likely to be in excess of stg£100 million [US$148 million], will be filed in the UK.”

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years