Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to Settle Shareholder Suits Over Autonomy: Report

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ) has agreed to settle lawsuits concerning its $11.1 billion acquisition of British software company Autonomy Inc. in late 2011, Reuters reports.

According to the publication, which cites ‘a source familiar with the negotiations’, the three lawsuits over the deal will likely be settled by Monday.

Under the terms of the settlement, the report said, lawyers representing the shareholders who had sued HP’s current and former executives and board members, including CEO Meg Whitman for allegedly not doing enough to scrutinize Autonomy’s financial statements before approving the $11.1 billion purchase, offering a premium of more than 60%, will agree to drop all charges against current and former HP executives, board members and advisers, including CEO Meg Whitman.

The deal also calls for the shareholders’ attorneys to assist the world’s largest computer maker in pursuing claims against Autonomy founder and former CEO Mike Lynch, and against Sushovan Hussain, its former chief financial officer.

After Autonomy’s acquisition in October 2011, Palo Alto-based HP wrote down the value of the company by $8.8 billion one year later, attributing more than $5 billion of that to [via the economist] “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations” before the deal.

“The size of the loss, and the speed with which it occurred”, notes Reuters, “marks the deal as one of the most disastrous done by a major company in recent years.”

Shares in the $64 billion market cap company fell 11 cents, or 0.32%, at $33.80 in after-hours trading Friday.

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