Feeds

HP itching to flog flaccid biz units: Are Autonomy, PSG in firing line?

Titan wants cash for dead men walking

Boost IT visibility and business value

Hewlett-Packard is considering selling or spinning out its weak business units but warned investors that any deals may not go smoothly.

The troubled tech titan stated in its latest paperwork filed to US financial regulator the SEC: “We continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives."

HP’s management warned that flogging off bits and pieces may take longer than desired, and the spurned units may not sell for their asking price. HP also noted it may not be able to completely unload all its unwanted businesses units, and could end up an equity owner or underwriter.

You can read the full 10-K filing here [PDF].

The statement comes little more than a year after HP’s incoming chief executive Meg Whitman reversed her predecessor Leo Apotheker's decision to flog the PC-making side of the company. In August 2011 Apotheker said he was looking to spin out HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG) and was fired by the HP board a month later. After Whitman arrived following his departure, she insisted in October that year that HP was committed to keeping PSG.

“It’s clear after our analysis that keeping the Personal Systems Group within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees," she said at the time.

During HP’s most recently reported quarter, PSG revenue was down 14 per cent year on year; the unit's business and consumer sales were down 13 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

The 10-K document could also spell trouble for Autonomy, the UK search software company bought by HP during Apotheker's reign for $11.7bn in 2011. After suggesting hiving off PSG, Apotheker pitched the Autonomy deal as a bold move designed to position HP for new markets.

Late last year, however, HP alleged Autonomy had overstated its value and claimed the small biz indulged in accounting irregularities prior to its acquisition. This led to HP reporting an $8.8bn loss in Q4 2012 and the titan referred the matter to the financial authorities in the US. Autonomy’s founder and former CEO Mike Lynch, who negotiated the deal with Apotheker, has strenuously denied HP’s accusations.

With Autonomy champion Apotheker gone, though, and HP threatening to eject unwanted teams, Autonomy’s future at the centre of HP may be promising despite Whitman's claims to the contrary. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.