Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

HP Says Acquired Firm Lied about Its Finances

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

HP Says Acquired Firm Lied about Its Finances

Article excerpt

NEW YORK Hewlett-Packard Co. said that a British company it bought for $9.7 billion last year lied about its finances, resulting in a massive write-down of the value of the business.

CEO Meg Whitman avoided calling it a fraud, but said Tuesday that there were "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation PLC." HP is taking an $8.8 billion charge in its latest quarter largely to align the accounting value of Autonomy with its real value.

The revelation is another blow for HP, which is struggling to reinvent itself as PC and printer sales shrink.

Among other things, Autonomy makes search engines that help companies find vital information stored across computer networks. Acquiring it was part of an attempt by HP to strengthen its portfolio of high-value products and services for corporations and government agencies.

The deal was greenlighted by Whit-man's predecessor, Leo Apotheker, but closed in Oct. …

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