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Oracle accuses Autonomy chief of 'whopper' over sales pitch claims

29 September 2011  |  6200 views  |  0 strategy

Mike Lynch's claim that he did not try to 'shop' the firm he founded, Autonomy, to Oracle before selling to HP has been blown out of the water after Oracle posted his PowerPoint slide sales pitch online.

In a conference call last week to talk about quarterly earnings, Oracle chief Larry Ellison claimed that Autonomy was "shopped to us" in April but the price was "absurdly high".

Autonomy was later bought by Oracle rival Hewlett-Packard for around $10.3 billion.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Lynch hit back, insisting that Ellison's claims were "just inaccurate" and that "if some bank happened to come with us on a list, that is nothing to do with us."

The interview provoked Oracle into issuing a statement suggesting that "either Mr Lynch has a very poor memory or he's lying".

The Autonomy founder "came to Oracle, along with his investment banker, Frank Quattrone, and met with Oracle's head of M&A, Douglas Kehring and Oracle President Mark Hurd at 11 am on April 1, 2011".

The Oracle men sat through a PowerPoint slide sales pitch before telling Lynch his company was "extremely overpriced" at $6 billion. The statement ends: "We still have his PowerPoint slides."

After Lynch confirmed a meeting took place but insisted his company was not for sale and they talked about database technologies, Oracle called his bluff, issuing another statement entitled "Another Whopper from Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch" and posting his slides, which can be read here and here.

Update

Oracle has removed the slides from its Web site but you can still see them at Gizmodo.

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