Shareholder Rights Law Firm Johnson & Weaver, LLP has commenced an investigation into whether certain officers and directors of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (“HP”) breached their fiduciary duties to the company and violated federal securities laws in connection with the Company’s acquisition of Autonomy Corp. PLC (“Autonomy”).
Johnson & Weaver’s investigation focuses on HP’s November 20, 2012 announcement that it needed to take an $8.8 billion write down on its August 2011 acquisition of Autonomy, a British software firm. On this news, HP’s stock price fell $1.59 per share (12%) to close at $11.71 — it’s lowest price in over a decade.
HP’s CEO Meg Whitman explained that this write down was largely caused by Autonomy’s intentional manipulation of its financial metrics before the acquisition. Autonomy’s former founder and former CEO, Michael Lynch, has rejected this accusation. Further, several prominent experts and analysts have questioned whether HP’s Board of Directors is trying to paint itself as a victim of fraud in order to deflect criticism of its own failure to perform proper due diligence before agreeing to purchase Autonomy. The Associated Press quoted Mark Williams, a Boston University finance professor and former bank examiner for the Federal Reserve, as calling HP’s accusations against Autonomy “due diligence deflection.” According to Williams: “Just to say ‘we paid too much because of fraud’ doesn’t negate the fact of inadequate due diligence. Some responsibility needs to come back to HP.”
Johnson & Weaver invites HP shareholders who are concerned about their legal rights and remedies to contact attorney Brett Weaver at (619) 230-0063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johnson & Weaver, LLP is a nationally recognized shareholders’ rights law firm. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits. For more information about the firm and its attorneys, please visit http://www.johnsonandweaver.com.