Mike Lynch promised £100m counter sue to HP’s $5.1bn claim
Mike Lynch has vowed to use British courts to defend his reputation and those of the management behind Cambridge’s largest ever software company, Autonomy, against the ‘smear campaign’ it says Hewlett Packard has been running against them for over two years after the Silicon Valley giant finally came good on its threat to sue.
HP has threatened Autonomy’s management, in particular its former CEO and founder, Dr Mike Lynch, and CFO, Sushovan Hussain, ever since it wrote off $8.8 billion in the value of the Cambridge software company just one year after its acquisition, claiming $5.1bn of it was due to accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and misrepresentations, allegations roundly rejected by Lynch and his management team.
In January this year, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office decided to close its investigation into the acquisition citing a lack of sufficient evidence, though it did say it had handed jurisdiction over some of the allegations to authorities in the US.
Now HP says it has finally made a claim against Lynch and Hussain for the $5.1bn (£3.4bn) figure, providing a single statement: “HP can confirm that, on March 30, a Claim Form was filed against Michael Lynch and Sushovan Hussain alleging they engaged in fraudulent activities while executives at Autonomy. The lawsuit seeks damages from them of approximately $5.1 billion. HP will not comment further until the proceedings have been served on the defendants.”
Lynch immediately countered with his own claim: “The former management of Autonomy announces today they will file claims against HP for loss and damage caused by false and negligent statements made against them by HP on 20 November 2012 and in HP’s subsequent smear campaign. Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch’s claim, which is likely to be in excess of £100 million, will be filed in the UK.”
That for now is only a threat, but with a $5.1bn hanging, it appears that over two years of name calling will finally be settled in the courts.