HP settles lawsuit over Autonomy
SAN FRANCISCO — Hewlett-Packard Co.’s ill-fated $10-billion acquisition of British software maker Autonomy Corp. is going to cost it even more money after it recently decided to settle a class-action lawsuit stemming from the deal.
The class action was brought on behalf of investors who were hurt after the Palo Alto company acquired Autonomy for $10 billion in 2011 before writing down $8.8 billion related to the deal a year later.
HP had said at the time of the write-down that it had been duped into overpaying for Autonomy. The $10-billion price tag was 11 times greater than Autonomy’s annual revenue of $870 million.
The company announced Tuesday that it will pay $100 million into a settlement fund that will go to shareholders who bought HP shares from Aug. 19, 2011, to Nov. 20, 2012.
The company said in a statement that even though it believes the lawsuit has no merit, “it is desirable and beneficial to HP and its shareholders to settle the case as further litigation would be burdensome and protracted.”
The company and its current and former executives and directors will be released from any Autonomy-related securities claims as part of the deal.