The ongoing saga surrounding HP's ill-fated Autonomy acquisition continued on Tuesday with the company's announcement that it will pay $100 million in a settlement agreement with PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V.
Dutch PGGM Vermogensbeheer is the lead plaintiff in the securities class action arising from the impairment charge taken by HP following its acquisition of Autonomy.
HP acquired what was once the UK's leading IT success story in 2011 for $11.7 billion. The following year, HP announced the $8.8 million writedown as a result of what it called "accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures" in Autonomy's financial statements. HP shareholders filed suit that same year.
An investigation by the UK's Serious Fraud Office was dropped earlier this year, but HP went on nevertheless to sue Mike Lynch and Sushovan Hussain, Autonomy's former CEO and CFO, for roughly $5 billion.
Regarding the current settlement, "HP believes the action has no merit," the company said, but "it is desirable and beneficial to HP and its shareholders to resolve settle the case as further litigation would be burdensome and protracted."
Under the terms of the settlement, HP's insurance will pay $100 million to a settlement fund that will be used to compensate shareholders who purchased HP shares between Aug. 19, 2011, and Nov. 20, 2012.
No individual is contributing to the settlement, which remains subject to court approval, HP said. Mke Lynch, in response to the settlement said HP was determined to prevent cases coming to court for fear that document disclosure would undermine its case agaisnt the Autonomy founders.