The technology business week: HP’s US$8.8bn write-down of Autonomy acquisition, Enterprise boards to get €3.78m


26 Nov 2012

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HP forced to make US$8.8bn write-down on Autonomy acquisition

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A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.

HP forced to make US$8.8bn write-down on Autonomy acquisition

One year after buying UK-based software giant Autonomy for US$10bn, HP reported it has had to write down US$8.8bn on its Q4 and full-year 2012 results because of the acquisition, citing alleged accounting improprieties at Autonomy.

Autonomy, which was founded and headed up by Carrick-on-Suir native Dr Mike Lynch, is a database and enterprise search technology player. Lynch is understood to have made US$800m from HP’s acquisition of the firm.

For the full year, HP reported revenues of US$120bn, down 5pc on 2011; fourth-quarter revenues of US$30bn, down 7pc from US$32.1bn last year; and a loss of US$6.9bn for the quarter.

HP also plans to file civil charges against Autonomy’s former owners.

Lynch said the mark-up on Autonomy’s software was increased by 30pc, driving away long-term customers, and said how HP could miss US$8.8bn “beggars belief” and is a “distraction” from wider issues within HP.

Enterprise boards to get €3.78m in extra funding to create jobs

The Irish Government is to provide 30 county and city enterprise boards (CEBs) around Ireland with an extra €3.78m funding injection before the end of the year to help create around 500 jobs in small businesses.

This year, the 35 CEBs had already been given €15m in funding. The additional funding is being provided by the Government in response to specific requests from CEBs for more funding to help fund projects.

Of the 35 CEBs that are to get funding, Dublin City is to get €400,000 to help create 30 jobs, Mayo is to get €105,000 to help create 20 jobs, and Donegal is to get €340,000 to help create 57 jobs.

Dublin firm Ezetop takes top spot in Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards

Ezetop, a Dublin-headquartered company that enables instant global top-ups for mobile phones around the world, has won the top spot in this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards.

Deloitte runs the awards programme to recognise indigenous technology companies on the island of Ireland that have experienced an exceptional growth in turnover over the past five years.

Deloitte announced Ezetop as the winner of the Technology Fast 50 at an awards ceremony in Dublin recently, saying the company had achieved an aggregate growth rate of 6,986pc over the past five years.

Cisco buys cloud networking player Meraki for US$1.2bn

Meraki, a privately held networking company founded by researchers from MIT, has just been acquired by Cisco for an estimated US$1.2bn.

Cisco says the intention is to meet market demand for more cloud and software-centric solutions for managing networks.

Meraki technology offers customers Wi-Fi, switching, security and mobile device management centrally managed from the cloud. Meraki solutions support BYOD, guest networking, application control, WAN optimisation, application firewall and other advanced networking services.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2013.

Blueface to expand into Italian market with acquisition of Kebu

Cloud-telephony provider Blueface is to expand into the Italian market as the company has acquired the business cloud-telephony provider Kebu.

Blueface, which launched its mobile service earlier this year, said its new service in Italy will offer cloud telephony services to SMEs, large businesses and Italian high-tech start-ups.

Blueface Italy will be based in Rome, with the company also planning to open additional offices in Florence and Milan in the first quarter of next year.

Blueface is also forecasting that more jobs will be created at its Dublin office in 2013.

Intel CEO Otellini to retire in May

Intel CEO Paul Otellini is to step down from his role in May after some 40 years of service with the chip giant. Otellini led Intel from the PC world to the post-PC world of cloud computing, smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks.

He also led Intel through its transition towards 3-D Tri-gate transistors.

“I’ve been privileged to lead one of the world’s greatest companies,” Otellini said. “After almost four decades with the company and eight years as CEO, it’s time to move on and transfer Intel’s helm to a new generation of leadership. I look forward to working with Andy (Bryant, chairman of the board), the board and the management team during the six-month transition period, and to being available as an adviser to management after retiring as CEO.”

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