Ever since computer titan Hewlett-Packard bought Autonomy for $11 billion in 2011 and then wrote off $8.8 billion a year later, blaming the British software firm’s “accounting fraud” for the loss, the relations between the two have become so acrimonious that it’s hard to keep track of the insults each side lobs at the other.
In the latest sparring round, HP says it will sue Autonomy’s former CFO Sushovan Hussain for trying to block HP’s settlement of three shareholder lawsuits related to the troubled purchase of Autonomy, reports Reuters.
Hussain contends that the lawsuits unfairly absolve HP from wrongdoing in the failed deal. Last month, Hussain said in a court filing that if a federal judge approved the settlements, the court would be allowing HP to “forever bury from disclosure the real reason for its 2012 write-down of Autonomy: HP’s own destruction of Autonomy’s success after the acquisition.”
Unsurprisingly, given the barely disguised rancor between both firms, HP countered by declaring it would sue Hussain.
“The notion that (Hussain) should be permitted to intervene and challenge the substance of a settlement designed to protect the interests of the company he defrauded is ludicrous,” lashed out HP.
And, not to be undone by its foe, Autonomy, in response to HP’s threat, went on the defensive and fired another salvo.
“This breathless ranting from HP is the sort of personal smear we’ve come to expect. As the emotional outbursts go up, the access to facts seems to go down,” Autonomy said in a statement, according to Reuters. “Meg Whitman [HP’s CEO] is buying off a bunch of lawyers so she doesn’t have to answer charges of incompetence and misdirection in front of a judge and jury.”
Photo: Max Morse, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0