HP buys Autonomy

Computing giant Hewlett-Packard has secured Autonomy, a Cambridge-based technology company, in a deal estimated to be worth A US$10.24-billion.

The deal was integral in the firing of previous HP CEO Leo Apotheker who was replaced by eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

Almost 90% of Autonomy stockholders approved of the offering by HP, with an official statement from the company saying, “As such, all conditions relating to the offer have now been satisfied, allowing HP to acquire control of Autonomy. The Autonomy acquisition positions HP as a leader in the large and growing enterprise information management space”.

The hurried nature of the announcement and various concerns around the heavy price of the Autonomy purchase sent stock for both companies into a downward spiral. Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison called the purchase of Autonomy “absurdly high”.

Whitman, affirmed HP’s commitment to the deal saying, “We are committed to helping our customers solve their toughest IT challenges. The exploding growth of unstructured and structured data and unlocking its value is the single largest opportunity for consumers, businesses and governments. Autonomy significantly increases our capabilities to manage and extract meaning from that data to drive insight, foresight and better decision making.”

Autonomy will continue to operate as a singular business outside of HP with its CEO Mike Lynch remaining in charge. The option to purchase the remainder of the Autonomy shares remains on the table, according to HP.

Former CEO Apotheker released information regarding the Autonomy purchase in August. The Autonomy deal represents a “strategic shift” for the company and may include new PCs based on HP’s design. Apotheker was also responsible for closing HP’s Palm Web OS tablet and smartphone division.

Autonomy’s software searches through unstructured data, such as phone calls, emails, tweets, social media updates and various other forms of information which do not adhere to traditional database structures.



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