Under the terms of the settlement, involving three lawsuits, lawyers for the shareholders have agreed to drop all claims against HP's current and former executives, including chief executive
The exception to that will be former officials at Autonomy. As part of the agreement, the shareholders' lawyers will assist HP in pursuing claims against Autonomy's co-founder and former CEO
The company said last night: "HP is in serious discussions to settle the shareholder derivative litigation related to Autonomy, but no final deal has been reached yet." The settlement, which followed mediation, is expected to be announced as soon as Monday.
HP took an
The size of the loss, and the speed with which it occurred, mark the deal as one of the most disastrous done by a major company in recent years.
Sources close to HP's investigation say the technology firm believes Autonomy's results and prospects were made to look much better than they were.
Lynch has consistently denied HP's allegations, saying it is blaming him for its own failure to manage Autonomy after the acquisition. A spokesman for Lynch said: "We continue to reject HP's allegations."
He said it appeared that Whitman would spend a large amount of HP money to avoid explaining in court why she made the
"We hope this matter will now move beyond a smear campaign based on selective disclosure and HP will finally give a full explanation," the spokesman added.
Hussain has not responded to calls and emails. His lawyer,
Shareholders had sued HP board members and executives, accusing them of breaching their fiduciary duties and wasting corporate assets. The lawsuits sought corporate governance changes at HP, legal fees and the ability to pursue damages claims against those responsible for the acquisition.
HP has shared the results of its investigation into accounting questions at Autonomy with lawyers representing the shareholders, the source familiar with the negotiations said. One of the law firms representing shareholders in the settlement, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, declined to comment. The other firm, Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy, was not immediately available for comment.
Lawyers representing shareholders will receive fees for helping HP pursue any further claims, the source said. Additional terms of HP's settlement with shareholders are unclear.
HP's allegations of accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures at Autonomy have prompted an investigation by the US securities and exchange commission and the
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