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18 August, 2011 - 21:25 By News Desk

Autonomy Cambridge staff share £30m bonanza after multi-billion sale to HP

Autonomy staff to share £30 million bonanza

The 175 employees at Autonomy Corporation in Cambridge will share a £30 million share options bonanza after the sale of the company for $11 billion (£6.6bn) to HP (Hewlett-Packard).

The acquisition of Autonomy is the largest deal in Cambridge corporate history and the biggest purchase by HP since it paid $13.9bn for EDS in 2008.

Autonomy will remain headquartered in Cambridge and all key R & D will also remain in the city.

The deal marks one of the top two largest acquisitions in software history  and is a phenomenal accolade for Autonomy which – since it was founded in 1996 – has become one of Europe’s largest pure software players and a FTSE100 company.

Autonomy will effectively become a key component of the information software division of HP, which is the world's largest IT company and ranked number 11 on the Fortune Global 500, with revenue totalling $126 billion for fiscal 2010.

After undertaking all due diligence, HP has offered a premium for a British company that has reported 15 years of profit and growth, has delivered a 7,100 per cent rise in value since its IPO and which has in excess of 25,000 blue chip customers worldwide.

Autonomy’s management will remain at the helm and CEO Mike Lynch will report directly to head honcho Leo Apotheker at HP.

The deal gives Autonomy access to HP’s 28,000 strong sales force and HP access to the next generation of data management software. The transaction has been unanimously approved by both boards. CEO Mike Lynch will continue to lead Autonomy.

Based on the closing stock price of Autonomy on August 17, the consideration represents a one-day premium to Autonomy shareholders of around 64 per cent and a premium of some 58 per cent to Autonomy’s prior one month average closing price.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

“This is a momentous day in Autonomy’s history,” said Dr Mike Lynch, chief executive officer and founder, Autonomy.

“From our foundation in 1996, we have been driven by one shared vision: to fundamentally change the IT industry by revolutionising the way people interact with information.

“HP shares this vision and provides Autonomy with the platform to bring our world-leading technology and innovation to a truly global stage, making the shift to a future age of the information economy a reality.”

Autonomy is a global leader in infrastructure software for the enterprise with a customer base of more than 25,000 global companies, law firms and public sector agencies, and approximately 2,700 employees worldwide.

Autonomy’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) platform allows computers to harness the richness of information, forming a conceptual and contextual understanding of any piece of electronic data, including unstructured information, such as text, email, web pages, voice and video.

Its software powers a full spectrum of mission-critical enterprise applications, including pan-enterprise search, customer interaction solutions, information governance, end-to-end eDiscovery, records management, archiving, business process management, web content management, web optimisation, rich media management and video and audio analysis.

Autonomy’s recent operating and financial performance has been strong, including its most recent results for the quarter ending June 30. Over the last five years, Autonomy has grown its revenues at a compound annual growth rate of around 55 per cent and adjusted operating profit at a rate of 83 per cent.

Léo Apotheker, HP president and chief executive officer, said: “Autonomy presents an opportunity to accelerate our strategic vision to decisively and profitably lead a large and growing space.

“Autonomy brings to HP higher value business solutions that will help customers manage the explosion of information. Together with Autonomy, we plan to reinvent how both unstructured and structured data is processed, analysed, optimised, automated and protected.

“Autonomy has an attractive business model, including a strong cloud-based solution set, which is aligned with HP’s efforts to improve our portfolio mix. We believe this bold action will squarely position HP in software and information to create the next-generation Information Platform, and thereby, create significant value for our shareholders.

“Autonomy is a highly profitable and globally respected software company, with a well-regarded management team and talented, dedicated employees. We look forward to partnering with a company that shares our commitment to solving customer problems by creating smart, cutting-edge products and solutions.

“I am particularly pleased that Dr Mike Lynch, who heads a team of brilliant scientists and employees, will continue to lead Autonomy. I look forward to our collaboration as we focus on creating maximum value for the combined company, its customers and employees.”

Key Autonomy assets will provide HP with the ability to reinvent the $55 billion business analytics software and services space, which is growing at eight per cent annually.

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