HP to buy Irishman Mike Lynch’s company for US$10bn

18 Aug 2011

One of the world’s biggest technology companies HP is to spend US$10bn to buy Autonomy, a software company started by Irishman Dr Mike Lynch with a stg£10,000 loan from his parents. It is also planning to exit the PC business.

It is understood that the US$10bn acquisition will be HP’s largest to date. It is understood that HP is also considering spinning off its personal computer business, according to Bloomberg.

It is understood that Microsoft and Oracle were considering buying Autonomy last year,.

HP spent US$2.3bn last year on 3PAR and US$1.5bn on ArcSight last year.

Cambridge-based and London Stock Exchange-listed Autonomy develops infrastructure technology that has been adopted by enterprises to process information across all internal and external data sources and counts customers such as US federal government agencies, Cisco Systems, the US Library of Commerce, ABN Amro, Forbes, Johnson & Johnson and Banco de Espana.

In 2007, Autonomy acquired Belfast-based enterprise software company Meridio for US$40.8m.

Carrick-on-Suir native Lynch set up Autonomy in 1996 as a spinoff from his first company, Cambridge Neurodynamics, which began with a personal loan. In 2006, the company turned in revenues of US$250m for the year. At one point in Autonomy’s history, the company had a market capitalisation of stg£8bn.

Lynch recently listed among WIRED magazine Europe’s 100 most influential players in digital business.

In May, Autonomy revealed it was to buy certain assets of Iron Mountain for US$380m.

Photo: Ireland’s first software billionaire, Dr Mike Lynch

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