Categories: Capital Markets

HP investors file lawsuit over Autonomy

HP

After releasing a non-cash impairment charge of $8.8 billion related to its acquisition of the British software company Autonomy in 2011, Hewlett-Packard is now being sued by investors who are claiming the deal has contributed to the company’s plummeting stock price.

According to the Financial Times, the class action lawsuit, which was filed in San Francisco on Monday, alleges that HP issued false and misleading statements on its financial performance and prospects between August 2011, when the $11 billion Autonomy deal was announced, and Nov. 20, when it made the $8.8 billion write down associated with the acquisition.

As noted by Bloomberg, the lawsuit also names as a defendant HP SVP James Murrin. As the company’s chief accounting officer during the period at issue, Murrin sold 132,500 shares for almost $3.5 million while “in the possession of materially adverse and non-public information.”

HP CEO Meg Whitman and the company’s former CEO, Leo Apotheker, are named as defendants, along with CFO Catherine Lesjak.

Earlier this month HP announced the majority of this impairment charge, more than $5 billion, was linked to “serious accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures discovered by an HP internal investigation and forensic review into Autonomy’s accounting practices prior to its purchase by HP.”

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