A pair of contradictory reports have surfaced today, regarding the potential sale of HP's troubled acquisition Autonomy to German software powerhouse SAP. Initially, the Times of London
reported that HP had tried to sell the company to SAP, but a follow-up report from HP refutes all reports, with backup by SAP saying that an executive had a quote given in an interview misinterpreted by the UK paper.
report said that SAP had confirmed that it had been approached by HP about the potential sale. HP has since denied the claim to AllThingsD
, saying that "contrary to reports in the media, HP has no interest is selling Autonomy. During the past year, we've received inquiries from SAP about purchasing HP software assets, and time and again we've said 'no.' We believe Autonomy will play an important role in HP's long-term strategy."
SAP spokesman Jim Dever notes that the SAP co-CEO wasn't directly addressing an acquisition of Autonomy, saying "If you look at the quote, Bill doesn't say anything other than we were aware when Autonomy was on the market. I was part of the conversation, and he never mentioned discussions with HP." Dever added that "In fact, he never said we were approached by HP."
Mike Lynch, the former CEO of Autonomy, has strongly denied allegations by HP
that his former company had engaged in "serious accounting improprieties" and willfully misled shareholders regarding its financials. UK law enforcement has opened up an investigation into HP's claims that it was badly misled during the acquisition.