Feeds

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

Titan wants cash for dead men walking

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.