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PS6bn HP buyout 'didn't compute'.

COMPUTER giant Hewlett-Packard claim they were "lied to" when they shelled out more than PS6billion for British software firm Autonomy.

HP have alerted the Serious Fraud Office and threatened legal action after alleging former Autonomy bosses used "accounting improprieties" to boost the firm's value before takeover. They said: "This appears to have been a willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company in order to mislead investors and potential buyers."

HP launched an internal probe after a whistleblower in Autonomy's senior team came forward following the departure of founder Mike Lynch in May. Lynch made PS500million from the deal.

The former management team of Autonomy said they "flatly rejected" the allegations.

The shock claim wiped more than 10 per cent off HP's value after they were forced to slash their stake in Autonomy by PS5.5billion, plunging them into the red.

Analysts questioned how much HP were paying for Autonomy in August last year. Paul Morland, at brokers Peel Hunt, said at the time that the offer "defied logic".
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 21, 2012
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