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HP hits back over Autonomy accusations

Hewlett Packard has responded to Mike Lynch's open letter to the company's board of directors, where the Autonomy founder rejected all "allegations of impropriety."

Days after Lynch rejected claims of “cooking the books” from the computer giant, HP has refused to be drawn into a public sparring match, instead releasing the following statement:

"HP has initiated an intense internal investigation into a series of accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations that occurred prior to HP’s acquisition of Autonomy.

"We believe we have uncovered extensive evidence of a willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company in order to mislead investors and potential buyers.

"The matter is in the hands of the authorities, including the UK Serious Fraud Office, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division and the US Department of Justice, and we will defer to them as to how they wish to engage with Dr. Lynch.

"In addition, HP will take legal action against the parties involved at the appropriate time.

"While Dr. Lynch is eager for a debate, we believe the legal process is the correct method in which to bring out the facts and take action on behalf of our shareholders.

"In that setting, we look forward to hearing Dr. Lynch and other former Autonomy employees answer questions under penalty of perjury."

Lynch says he has yet to hire a lawyer in the case but has reviewed past company accounts and believes accusations of a "willful effort to mislead shareholders" are "utterly wrong."

With the ongoing legal battle set to continue into the near future, HP reassured Autonomy customers, insisting the company "remains 100% committed to Autonomy and its industry-leading technology."

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