Ex-Autonomy boss says HP's claim of having 'window dressed' firm's accounts prior to sale 'simply do not add up'

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 24, 2012 05:30 hrs

Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch has said that the claims made by Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman about the 'misrepresentation of finances' by his UK software firm 'simply do not add up'.

The British entrepreneur claimed that there is no way the accounting improprieties that are alleged to have taken place at Autonomy could lead to the 8.8 billion dollar write-off that HP booked this week.

Lynch is now expecting to summon Whitman to the UK "to explain herself".

"I will be asking Meg to come over and explain herself. She is not on my Christmas card list. When we show that everything was fine, then there is a very, very serious question for HP," The Telegraph quoted Lynch, as saying.

"Why did it go and tell investors that it was taking [this] writedown over concerns relating to 100 million dollar of revenues," he added.

According to the paper, American giant HP bought Autonomy for 11.1 billion dollar in August 2011 but has now claimed that the British software company, which specialises in searching texts, voicemails and video, had used serious accounting improprieties to willfully misrepresent its business and inflate the price tag.

HP claims that Autonomy registered slow-growing hardware revenues, which account for between 10pc and 15pc of its 1 billion dollar-a-year turnover, as faster-growing software sales. It has also criticised Autonomy for including in its revenue figures sales of products to wholesalers, or "resellers", regardless of whether or not those resellers managed to sell them on to a customer, the paper said.

While Lynch admits to some of these practices, he is adamant that they were fully disclosed in Autonomy's annual report and that the company operated within International Financial Reporting Standards at all times. He also said that it was "inconceivable" that HP did not know Autonomy sold hardware, the paper added. (ANI)

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