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TOMORROW'S WORLD
04 Oct 2011
HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPLETES AUTONOMY BUYOUT

Hewlett-Packard has completed the $12bn (£7.8bn) buyout of UK software firm Autonomy, despite the departure of the man who initiated it.

Leo Apotheker was replaced as HP chief executive last month amid falling sales and a share price collapse.

The Autonomy deal was part of a massive overhaul of the troubled US computer giant unveiled by Mr Apotheker.

But plans to spin off its core PC business received a thumbs down from the market.

HP's shares have fallen 47% this year, making it one of the worst performers in the Dow Jones index of leading US companies.

The purchase price for Autonomy was also widely criticised by market analysts as too high, but British takeover rules made it almost impossible to cancel the bid.

Meg Whitman, the former head of eBay who replaced Mr Apotheker, said shortly after her appointment that the deal would still go ahead.

The UK firm's head, Mike Lynch, later got into a colourful spat with HP rival Oracle, who claimed that Mr Lynch had sought a rival bid from them and been declined.

Oracle's chief executive Larry Ellison described the asking price as "absurdly high".

HP's shares closed 1.1% lower on Monday, outperforming the wider market.

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