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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.