HP shareholder lawsuit names audit firms that worked on the Autonomy deal

HP is currently fighting a massive shareholder backlash over the huge $8.8 billion write-down it was forced to take on its acquisition of Autonomy. HP has alleged that there were "serious accounting improprieties" that led it to overpay massively for the company. HP's shareholders have filed suit in the matter and named the major auditing firms that worked on the deal for HP as defendants.

The new shareholder lawsuit names auditing firms Deloitte and KPMG as defendants in the case. The suit alleges that both auditing firms missed numerous red flags having to do with Autonomy's accounting practices. The suit also names HP's board of directors, officers, and former executives alleging breach of duty and negligence for their role in the acquisition.

The suit was filed Tuesday in a federal court in San Jose California. HP CEO Meg Whitman has stated frequently that HP relied on audits of Autonomy performed by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's UK branch last year when it purchased Autonomy for $11.1 billion. HP also relied on KPMG, which HP claims performed audits of Deloitte's work.

KPMG is denying that it was even hired to do any audit work or oversee Deloitte's work on the Autonomy deal. KPMG maintains that it was hired to provide limited services with no relation to the Autonomy audit. Deloitte has previously stated that it was not responsible for due diligence on HP's acquisition and denied any knowledge of accounting improprieties or misrepresentations in the Autonomy financial statements.

[via Reuters]