Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has welcomed the decision by the UK's accounting watchdog to investigate his former firm's accounts in the period running up to its acquisition by HP.
HP shook the industry in November by accusing Autonomy's management team of cooking the books as it took an $8.8bn (£5.6bn) write-down on the UK software firm, most of which were attributable to alleged "accounting improprieties".
HP immediately referred the matter to the US SEC and UK Serious Fraud Office but today it emerged that the UK's Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is now investigating Autonomy's accounts for the period from 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2011.
And the man dubbed by some as the UK's answer to Bill Gates was quick to respond to the development today, pointing out in a statement that – as a member of the FTSE 100 – Autonomy's accounts for that period had already been green-lighted by the FRC.
"We welcome this investigation," Lynch said.
"Autonomy received unqualified audit reports throughout its life as a public company. This includes the period in question, during which Autonomy was audited by Deloitte. We are fully confident in the financial reporting of the company and look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate this to the FRC."
It is the first development in the HP-Autonomy imbroglio since HP revealed in its 10-K filing in late December that the US Department for Justice is looking into its allegations. At the time, Lynch lambasted HP for not providing any detailed information on what the firm he founded in 1996 and sold to HP in 2011 was supposed to have done wrong.
HP was not able to comment at the time of writing.
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