- Ex Autonomy boss Mike Lynch tried to win a deal to digitise the Vatican Library
- HP, which bought Autonomy, says the price of the firm was inflated
- It says the Vatican deal is a key example of how revenues were ‘fabricated’
Tech tycoon Mike Lynch’s desperate attempts to boost sales at Autonomy took him to the heart of the Vatican, court documents reveal
Tech tycoon Mike Lynch’s desperate attempts to boost sales at Autonomy took him to the heart of the Vatican, court documents reveal.
He took control of efforts to win a prestigious contract to digitise the Vatican Library.
Lynch (pictured), his finance chief Sushovan Hussain and their wives were even given a tour of the library by prefect Monsignor Cesare Pasini on a visit to Rome for an office Christmas party in 2010.
The 15th century library is one of the grandest in the world and houses more than 2m books and manuscripts.
But the deal is at the centre of a High Court case brought against them by HP Enterprise (HPE), which bought Autonomy in 2011 and says executives artificially inflated its value. HPE says the Vatican project is a key example of deals that ‘were used to fabricate or accelerate what was then held out by Autonomy to be revenue and profits’.
It says Autonomy booked £8.3million in revenues related to the library project in 2010.
The revenue reported was from an agreement Autonomy had made with a third party reseller. It told auditors the reseller would supply software to the Vatican.
Lynch took control of efforts to win a prestigious contract to digitise the Vatican Library
But no final deal was ever done with the Vatican, which also said it never had dealings with the reseller.
It is claimed that Lynch and Hussain’s objective was to ‘ensure that the Autonomy group’s financial performance appeared to be that of a rapidly growing company’ when in fact ‘the group was experiencing little or no growth’.
Lynch and Hussain deny any wrongdoing.