HP investor sues company for handling of 2 deals

Associated Press Modified: November 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm •  Published: November 26, 2012

Monday's lawsuit filed by shareholder Allen Nicolow also alleges that HP knew that the EDS and Autonomy deals were duds long before management acknowledged the problems. The complaint alleges HP's management tried to whitewash things in an attempt to prop up the company's stock price.

HP, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., declined to comment on the lawsuit.

HP's shares closed Monday at $12.74, leaving them worth less half their value at the beginning of the year. The shares peaked this year at $30 in February. Nicolow bought 200 shares of HP stock at $21.87 in May, leaving him with a paper loss of about $1,900 at Monday's close.

Nicolow's lawyers are hoping to get the lawsuit certified as a class-action representing all HP shareholders who bought the company's stock between Aug. 19, 2011 and Nov. 20 this year.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the company, Apotheker and current HP CEO Meg Whitman. Catherine Lesjak, HP's chief financial officer, and James Murrin, the company's chief accounting officer are also named as defendants.

In statements last week, Whitman said HP didn't learn about Autonomy's alleged accounting ruse until a whistleblower alerted her after she replaced Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch in May. Lynch maintains Autonomy did nothing wrong and that HP came up with the allegations of deceptive accounting to cover up the damage caused by its own bad management.