HP says it may sell assets that underperform – The disclosure comes in the wake of a controversial $8.9 billion writedown of the company’s Autonomy division

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IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)

BOSTON- Hewlett-Packard will continue to evaluate potential divestitures of underperforming parts of its business, and the process could get messy, the company warned its investors in its annual 10-K document, which was filed in late December.

“When we decide to sell assets or a business, we may encounter difficulty in finding buyers or alternative exit strategies on acceptable terms in a timely manner, which could delay the achievement of our strategic objectives,” HP added. “We may also dispose of a business at a price or on terms that are less desirable than we had anticipated.”

Bloomberg first reported HP’s statement on Tuesday. In 2011, HP said it was considering a spin-off of its PC division but ultimately decided against such a move.

No specific business units were named in HP’s 10-K filing as potentially coming up for sale, but speculation on HP’s intentions may center on its Autonomy software business unit, which has been wracked in recent months by alleged accounting improprieties and a US$8.8 billion writedown in value. HP attributed some $5 billion of the writedown to the alleged accounting fraud.

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