/// Autonomy: When All Else Fails, Blame the Bankers

September 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital


Rule No. 1 when you find yourself in a public relations hole: Stop digging. Mike Lynch, the CEO of Autonomy, the software company being acquired by Hewlett-Packard in an $11.7 billion deal, seems not to have learned this lesson because the hole he’s in keeps getting deeper. As we reported Wednesday, Oracle decided to slap Lynch silly with a public rebuke concerning his comments to The Wall Street Journal that his company had never been shopped to Oracle . Always eager to clear up the record — just, well, you know, because — Oracle went on to publish the PowerPoint slides sent by investment banker Frank Quattrone of Qatalyst Partners to Mark Hurd in January. The slides may or may not have had anything to do with a meeting held by Lynch, Quattrone, Oracle President Mark Hurd and its head of M&A, Douglas Kehring, in April. Or not! You see, the stories vary. (Oracle, by the way, has since taken down the slides, but you can still read them here Update: And we’re now told the slides are back up . Interesting! ) But what about the email those slides arrived with originally? Well a kindly source has sent it to us. Dated Jan. 26 — you can read it below — it was sent to Hurd by Quattrone (whose address I’ve deleted as a courtesy). Judge for yourself, but it sure reads like the wind-up to a sales pitch to me. From: Frank Quattrone Date: January 26, 2011 7:48:37 AM PST To: “‘mark.hurd@oracle.com’” Subject: Fw: Autonomy slides Hi Mark, It was great to catch up earlier this month. I wanted to follow up by sending the slides I promised on Autonomy. Given its strong position in managing unstructured data (such as video, voice and photos), “meaning based” contextual enterprise search, data protection, compliance, archiving and content/web management, I beleive it’s a very strategic asset that could alter the balance of power in the industry for whoever might acquire it. And despite its strong track record of growth and very high profitability (50 pct margins), it trades at less than 20x earnings and around 11x Ebitda, huge discounts to the other strategic software assets of scale. Please let me know if you would like me to follow up with you, Doug K or otherwise. Thanks Frank And it was! At least the email part.

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Autonomy: When All Else Fails, Blame the Bankers


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