UK tech firm Autonomy probed over fraud claims in HP acquisition

British technology firm Autonomy is under investigation by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over claims of suspect accounting before its acquisition by Hewlett Packard (HP).

British technology firm Autonomy is under investigation by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over claims of suspect accounting before its acquisition by Hewlett Packard (HP).

HP has accused Autonomy of inflating its value in the lead up to selling the business in 2011 for $10bn. HP claims it was duped in the transaction, leading the IT giant to write off $8.8bn.

Autonomy's former boss, Mike Lynch, has denied the allegations.

In a regulatory filing, HP said the SFO had opened an investigation relating to Autonomy.

"HP has provided information to the UK Serious Fraud Office, the US Department of Justice and the SEC related to the accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and misrepresentations at Autonomy that occurred prior to and in connection with HP's acquisition of Autonomy," the filing stated.

The inquiry comes after the US Justice Department began looking into allegations Autonomy misrepresented its accounts, late last year.

HP shareholders have filed at least eight lawsuits claiming that the company's board and management squandered the deal and withheld information before the write-off.

Board members' jobs are also under threat as shareholders have recommended ousting the two longest-serving directors, John Hammergren and Kennedy Thompson, at the company's annual meeting to be held on March 20th.

RD

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