Ex-Autonomy CEO blasts HP's claim of having 'window dressed' firm's accounts prior to sale
Former chief executive of UK software firm Autonomy, Dr Mike Lynch has hit back at Hewlett Packard claims that he masterminded a three billion pound accounting cover-up.
Lynch made more than 500 million pounds by selling his home-grown software firm last year in a 7.1 billion pound deal but now the American company has wiped 5.5 billion pounds (8.8 billion dollars) off its value.
HP boss Meg Whitman blames 'accounting improprieties' by 'certain former Autonomy employees' for the 3 billion pound loss, accusing Lynch and others of 'lying' to them by inflating revenues and profit margins for at least two years before the deal was struck, the Daily Mail reports.
However, Lynch denies the claims and says that the 300 auditors HP had poring over their books would have picked up any problems, and is planning to take legal action against the firm.
"'The figures are just mad. Things would have to have gone pretty badly wrong to justify writing 8.8 billion dollars. It is utterly untrue. We reject this as utterly untrue. Everything we did we gave correctly to the auditors and was correctly noted by the auditors," he said.
"I don't understand how you can write-down this amount and say somehow this was all caused by something you didn't notice when you did due diligence with 300 people. It would have been kind of a big elephant to miss," he added.
According to the paper, after the write-off, HP's shares dropped to 11 dollars yesterday, down 12 per cent, the lowest level for HP in a decade.
HP says the evidence of an accounting cover-up was apparently revealed to them by a former Autonomy executive whistleblower within the last six months, the paper said.