Oracle Strikes Back

This is amusing:

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) fired back at Autonomy Corp. (AU.LN, AUTNY) Wednesday, saying the British business-analytics company’s chief executive didn’t tell the truth about an April meeting purportedly held to shop the business around.

The dispute also concerns Oracle rival Hewlett-Packard Corp. (HPQ), which last month agreed to buy Autonomy in a deal valued at about $10.3 billion. Oracle has followed an increasingly common script in Silicon Valley by morphing into one of H-P’s fiercest competitors.

Oracle on Wednesday repeated its contention that Autonomy approached its executives before H-P publicly made its offer. Oracle has said it rejected the Autonomy deal because the price was too high.

Autonomy Chief Executive Mike Lynch later disputed Oracle’s version of events, which prompted the California-based software giant to issue a statment late Wednesday.

According to Oracle, Lynch and investment banker Frank Quattrone met with Oracle mergers-and-acquisitions chief Douglas Kehring and President Mark Hurd. The Autonomy chief pitched his company with a PowerPoint presentation, Oracle said.

“Either Mr. Lynch has a very poor memory or he’s lying,” Oracle’s statement said. “The Lynch shopping visit to Oracle is easy to verify. We still have his PowerPoint slides.”

In an emailed statement, Lynch denied that the April meeting was intended to pitch a possible sale of the company.

“In April there was a 30-40 minute meeting between Autonomy and Mark Hurd, which was set up by Frank Quattrone as an introduction to Mark Hurd,” Lynch said. “Oracle is an Autonomy customer. In the meeting, in response to a joke about Mr. Quattrone’s presence, it was made clear Autonomy was not for sale and there was no process underway.”

Lynch added that Autonomy hadn’t yet engaged Quattrone’s company at the time and said there has been no contact with Oracle since then.

Oracle shares were recently up 0.6% at $29.64 in after-hours trading. The stock is up 8.3% over the past year.

Posted by on September 29th, 2011 at 2:30 am

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