SFO Ends HP/Autonomy Investigation

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has concluded its investigation into the sale of UK software company Autonomy to HP and says there is no case to answer.

The investigation began in 2013 after HP claimed that the former management of Autonomy had overstated the value of the company, leading HP to record a non-cash charge for the impairment of goodwill and intangible assets within its software segment of approximately $8.8 billion. HP accused Autonomy of “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations” prior to the acquisition in 2011.

In a statement, the SFO said: “In respect of some aspects of the allegations, the SFO has concluded that, on the information available, there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. In respect of other aspects, and on the application of well-established principles, jurisdiction over the investigation has been ceded to the US authorities whose investigation is ongoing”.

According to some sources, the UK’s Financial Reporting Council is also investigating Autonomy, particularly the company’s financial reporting between 1st January 2009 and 30th June 2011.