HP is now the proud owner of Autonomy, the British-based firm that creates search tools for unstructured data like emails and Twitter feeds.
The deal was approved in a vote by investors, who controlled 87.34 percent of the company’s shares. How could they not vote for it? HP offered Autonomy £25.50 per share, 79 percent more than the share’s market value.
The controversial acquisition was made by HP’s former CEO, Leo Apotheker, and was cited as one of the reasons that he has entered the job market. Nevertheless, his successor, former eBay chief and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman announced that the purchase was critical to HP’s software expansion. She had very little choice in the matter. HP’s shares plunged rapidly after the announcement that it planned to buy Autonomy.
Telling shareholders that it was a stupid deal but that there was no way out of it would hardly restore confidence.
Autonomy will continue to operate as a separate division of HP under its founder Mike Lynch.