Potential buyers are probing Hewlett-Packard over EDS and Autonomy, according to reports. Bloomberg reports that HP has received an “increase in enquiries” following a recent regulatory filing saying it would dispose of businesses that don’t meet goals. The Wall St Journal says overtures have come mainly from other US tech …
If HP paid $11.7bn, but wrote off $8bn on Autonomy, and have subsequently lost the Autonomy founders, as well as (on recent reports) the UK sales force, then presumably they'll be happy to let it go at book value?
Of course, if they want more, then that implies that the write down was contrived. Do we think Meg will report herself to the SEC over accounting irregularities?
Re: Dodgy accounting
Surely any increase in value would be due to the brilliant turn around that HP have managed to execute at Autonomy?
What are these accounting irregularities you speak of?
Wild strategy swings..
Sounds like banking in the 80's/90's/00's. Banks with their core business of lending, savings, mortgages and expensive letters telling you that you are 30p overdrawn, suddenly decided to get into all sorts of stuff they didn't understand.
Abbey National lost £243m on the whole Cornerstone Estate Agency project.
Bradford and Bingley sold it's estate agency arm to Countrywide.
HSBC actually made money on their sale of Eversholt Rail which owned train rolling stock but I've still no idea why they were involved in it...
I'm sure there are plenty of others.
Re: Wild strategy swings..
Why are half the posts of late about bloody banks? Having said that, enjoy this if you've not already caught it:
(You'll need sound on)
"Also, PC-makers' last hope, Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system,"
If PC makers were betting on that turd as a last hope, they deserve to die. Win8 is actually accelerating the slump!
On EDS, well, HP screwed the pooch during the acquisition. Many of the EDS dudes abandoned ship thanks to HP lowering their wages. By now EDS is mostly a shell of its former self...
> Hey HP: You may not rate Autonomy, EDS, but buyers do
Erm, I'm having a hard time running that through my grammar checker.
Just what exactly is it that you're trying to say?
Autonomy gave rise to useful stuff...
... like the Autology push-search system. I saw that demonstrated about 6 years ago when they sold it for a ridiculous fee and it's still available, only for a much more reasonable amount. I think they basically threw the whole Internet at the Autonomy engine and data-mined it. They don't just sell to Tesco for connecting up the dots in Clubcard data. If they got their heads around that they might be able to pull something out...
>Whitman said: “My belief is that the single biggest challenge facing HP has been changes in CEOs and executive leadership, which has caused multiple inconsistent strategic choices and frankly some significant executional miscues.”
Translation: "keep me, keep me".
Kidding aside, HP's board needs to be more vigilant about vetoing dumb CEO moves, but at the same time it does need to let Meg get on with her work. Hopefully her own Skype writedown will have taught her some lessons about signing big cheques.
EDS was not a basket case
EDS was the only profit making part of HP for the first 2 years and paid for itself. Poor management by HP was the reason for any decline.
Shying away from established markets and not following up on leads because services could not make the hardware margin (40% or more) was what screwed an otherwise good business.
The men in suits were the death of EDS and HP had the biggest suits.
> EDS was the only profit making part of HP for the first 2 years ???
HP make billions every quarter and have done for as long as I know of.
They can write down 8bn on a regular basis and still make money - if they weren't a bunch of suits from a huge multinational (US?) company maybe they wouldn't lose 8bn on a regular basis which would be nice... Still maybe some of Mike Lynch's money will stay in the UK & maybe he'll pay some tax.