Dutch giant PGGM announces $100m recovery for shareholders in Hewlett-Packard class action

Cash settlement reached over troubled 2011 software acquisition

PGGM, the €200bn Dutch pension fund investment giant, has announced a $100m cash settlement with computer firm Hewlett-Packard.

Court-appointed lead plaintiff PGGM said it has agreed with HP to settle a 2012 securities class action, resolving the federal securities class-action lawsuit arising out of HP’s $11bn controversial acquisition of UK ‘big data’ software outfit Autonomy in 2011.

PGGM had been appointed lead plaintiff in March 2013, after which it filed an amended complaint against HP and executives and directors. It alleged the defendants violated US federal securities laws by making a series of “materially false statements and omissions” in connection with the deal regarding Cambridge-based Autonomy’s accounting practices and valuation.

The investors alleged that when the true facts concerning Autonomy’s accounting practices andvaluation were revealed to investors, it led to an $8.8bn write-down and a plummeting share price – “damaging HP shareholders severely”. PGGM said it is pleased to settle the matter on behalf of investors in the tech firm.

“It is crucial that investors are timely and adequately informed.”

“PGGM has taken the responsibility of acting as lead plaintiff in this case because it is crucial that investors are timely and adequately informed by listed companies about material information that might impact shareholder’s investment decisions,” said Eloy Lindeijer, Chief Investment Management at PGGM Investments at the Zeist-based organization.

PGGM and other investors were represented by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check.