Autonomy Corp. Acquisition – Shareholder Derivative Litigation
Hewlett-Packard shareholders filed lawsuits against several current and former company officers and directors alleging a breach of fiduciary duties in connection with HP’s acquisition of British software company Autonomy Corporation Plc in 2011. In November 2012, HP announced it was forced to write-down goodwill and intangible assets related to the acquisition by $8.8 billion, nearly 80% of the purchase price, due to serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures, and misrepresentations by Autonomy. The lawsuits claimed the defendants consciously disregarded indications of Autonomy’s accounting improprieties and gross overvaluation and misled the public about the due diligence they conducted in valuing and vetting Autonomy. In June 2014, a settlement was reached in the Autonomy acquisition litigation, with HP agreeing to adopt enhancements to its policies and procedures in evaluating potential mergers and acquisitions.
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Autonomy Corp. Acquisition – Securities Litigation