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back to article HP wanted to offload Autonomy on SAP, says SAP co-chief

HP tried to offload Brit software house Autonomy onto German giant SAP sometime before last month, it is claimed. Bill McDermott, co-chief exec of SAP, told the UK's Times that the firm had been approached by HP after it was told the business was "available", but SAP wasn't keen on the idea. "We were aware that it was on the …

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WTF?

Not the best sales technique

Step 1 - Spend several months stating how Autonomy isn't worth having and that it was cooking its books.

Step 2 - Ask SAP if they want to buy it.

It would take a sales genius to be able to shift Autonomy on to anyone now.

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Angel

So they made a mistake with the purchase of Autonomy, but ...

everybody makes a mistake every now and them. Cut those managers some slack. They are only humans.

Very well-payed humans :).

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FAIL

Re: So they made a mistake with the purchase of Autonomy, but ...

"everybody makes a mistake every now and them. Cut those managers some slack. They are only humans."

Yeah everyone makes mistakes every now & again - buying clothes you end up never wearing, making mistakes at work, possibly even expensive ones like using your credit card on a dodgy web site. But these guys are paid (note spelling please) very well indeed to run the company & make decisions on exactly this kind of purchase. If you or I acted in a way that we lost our employer even 1/1,000th of the capital value of the company we'd be out on our ear with no future in the industry, there's be no cutting US some slack. Whereas the HP board are keeping their jobs & may well go on to other high paid jobs in the same industry for devaluing HP by nearly 1/5th.

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Unhappy

"Very well-payed humans"

Who just managed to destroy $8Bn of shareholders money.

Let me just repeat that amount

Eight Billion dollars of shareholders assets have just disappeared.

In the UK the pension funds shareholders would have just shrugged. After all it's not their money. But it seems at least some US stockholders are a little more active in their stewardship.

I hope they go for the relevant directors personal fortunes. That's the only way this s**t will ever end

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Re: "Very well-payed humans"

>I hope they go for the relevant directors personal fortunes. That's the only way this s**t will ever end

Won't happen because then the CEO couldn't stack the board with their buddies and corporations might actually have responsible governance. Let me change that to say that won't happen until after The Worst Generation (Baby Boomers) die off more.

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Meh

If this isn't a for sale sign, I don't know what is

Folks were made "aware" that Autonomy was on the block sometime before last month, when HP chief Meg Whitman said during a visit to London that the firm was not for sale. At that stage, Whitman was still saying that HP would go on with its $11bn purchase, despite having to write down its value by $8.8bn.

"We remain committed to Autonomy, we remain committed to the brand, to Cambridge [where Autonomy is based], to the UK," she said at the time.

"It is an almost magical technology. It plays into a big shift in the market, the area of ‘Big Data’, which HP should be in."

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Unhappy

BTW

I looked up HP's share capitalization today.

It's c$41.5Bn.

That $8Bn write down made c19% of the company disappear.

Now being stupid is not a crime but it's hard to believe that no crimes were committed in the process of deciding $11Bn was a fair price to pay for Autonomy.

What those crimes were and who committed them should be questions for a court to decide.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BTW

CNBC clip: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000167433

Transcript: >02:30

Kayla: There was a report over the weekend quoting you that said you had been approached about potentially buying it, that you declined, where are those reports coming from, what is the situation from your vantage point?

Bill: First of all, Meg Whitman is a good friend of mine and she and I never had such a conversation about Autonomy. There was a reporter that incorrectly reported the news, basically. And essentially, my comment was, a long time ago before HP ever bought Autonomy, I was aware of the fact that the company was on the market and SAP had passed on the company because we had invented HANA, which is the greatest in-memory database of all time, so there really wasn’t a business rationale by which SAP could move on autonomy. And subsequent to HP buying Autonomy, there has never been a conversation between SAP and HP to do a deal. I don’t know where that comes from other than it’s incorrect, it’s not factual, and I’m here today to set the record straight, Meg and I never had that conservation.

Bill Griffiths, CNBC: It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

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