Hagens Berman Investigating Hewlett-Packard Board of Directors for Possible
Breach of Fiduciary Duties in Acquisition of Autonomy; Encourages
Whistleblower Assistance and Investor Inquiry
SAN FRANCISCO -- November 21, 2012
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a national shareholder-rights law firm, today
announced an investigation of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) (“HP”) and its
board of directors for potential breaches of fiduciary duties in connection
with the company’s acquisition of Autonomy Corp. PLC (“Autonomy”).
On Nov. 20, 2012, HP announced its quarterly earnings, which included a
quarterly loss and a $8.8 billion write down. The company said that HP’s
acquisition of Autonomy, a British software firm HP purchased for $11.7
billion in Aug. 2011, contributed to the write down. Meg Whitman, CEO of HP,
accused Autonomy of intentionally inflating financial metrics before the
On the news, HP’s stock price fell $1.59, or about 12 percent, closing at
$11.71 on Nov. 20, 2012.
HP said it has referred the matter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission’s Enforcement Division and the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office for a
civil and criminal investigation, and states that it is preparing to sue
“various parties” in civil courts in an effort to recover lost shareholder
value. Autonomy’s founder Mike Lynch has rejected the accusations, including
HP’s claim that more than $200 million of Autonomy’s revenue was improperly
stated over a two-year period, which could lead to a $5 billion write down,
saying that it “just doesn’t add up.”
Hagens Berman is investigating whether the HP Board of Directors is properly
painting itself as a victim of the alleged fraud, or whether it failed to
perform a full due diligence in examining Autonomy’s financial information
before acquiring the company. The investigation also focuses on the purported
reasons for HP’s write down.
“We question the due diligence performed by HP’s Board,” said Reed Kathrein,
the Hagens Berman partner in charge of the investigation. “How could they miss
a gap in the value of Autonomy by such a wide margin?”
Following HP’s acquisition of Autonomy in Aug. 2011, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL)
issued a statement confirming that Autonomy had been “shopped” to Oracle, but
Oracle declined because the then market price for the company of $6 billion
was “way too high.”
Shareholders of HP are encouraged to contact Hagens Berman to discuss the
investigation. Investors can contact Mr. Kathrein by calling 510-725-3000 or
by emailing HP@Hbsslaw.com.
The firm reminds whistleblowers with inside information that rewards may be
available to individuals who report information leading to a successful
enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provides for
rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC
for whistleblowers who provide original information,” said Mr. Kathrein.
“However, whistleblowers should be cautious and consult an experienced
whistleblower attorney before taking action.”
More information about this investigation is available at
About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is an investor-rights class-action law firm
with offices in 10 cities. The firm represents whistleblowers, workers and
consumers in complex litigation. More about the law firm and its successes can
be found at www.hbsslaw.com. The firm’s securities law blog is at
Firmani + Associates
Mark Firmani, 206-443-9357
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