Mike Lynch to sue HP for €134m

Irish tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch yesterday said he would file a claim against Hewlett-Packard for $150m (€134m) in damages over allegations the US company made about his role in the acquisition of his software company Autonomy in 2011.

Mike Lynch to sue HP for €134m

Mr Lynch’s action marks the latest twist in a long-running battle between him and HP that has led to multiple lawsuits over who is to blame for a disastrous deal that cost HP shareholders billions of dollars of value.

HP’s $11bn purchase of Autonomy was supposed to form the central part of the US group’s move into software.

But the deal turned sour a year later when HP wrote off three-quarters of the British-based company’s value, accusing Lynch and his colleagues of financial mismanagement.

In March, HP lodged a claim in London against Lynch and his former colleague Sushovan Hussain for damages of about $5.1bn over their management of Autonomy.

HP alleged Lynch and Hussain had conducted a systematic and sustained scheme to make Autonomy look like a rapidly growing, pure software company, when in reality it was the opposite.

Mr Lynch has prepared a response to that case, and on Friday said documents showed HP was made aware of practices at Autonomy, for example in a due diligence report prepared by KPMG.

Mr Lynch, commenting on the law suit launched yesterday, said HP had made many statements that were highly damaging to him and misleading to the stockmarket, and the company knew, or should have known, these statements were false.

“HP’s own documents, which the court will see, make clear that HP was simply incompetent in its operation of Autonomy, and the acquisition was doomed from the very beginning,” he said.

Mr Lynch said he hoped the claim would result in HP chief executive Meg Whitman appearing in court.

“This is about dragging them to be accountable, to actually explain the chaos, the mismanagement and the internal warfare, and then the attempt to cover it up,” he told Reuters.

HP said that Mr Lynch’s lawsuit was a “laughable and desperate attempt to divert attention from the $5bn lawsuit HP has filed and the ongoing criminal investigation”.

“HP anxiously looks forward to the day Lynch and Hussain will be forced to answer for their actions in court,” a spokeswoman said.

More in this section

The Business Hub
Newsletter

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up