MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED and JEFFREY CANE Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 2:13 p.m. Last Modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 2:13 p.m. Hewlett-Packard is near a sweeping transformation of its business, including a deal to buy the British software maker Autonomy for nearly $10 billion and a spinoff of its personal computer business, people briefed on the matter told DealBook. The two developments are expected to be announced along with H.P.’s quarterly results after the market closes on Thursday.Autonomy released a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon confirming that it is in talks with H.P. about “a possible offer for the company.”Hewlett’s chief executive, Leo Apotheker, has said he wants to focus on higher-margin businesses like software and de-emphasize the personal computer business. Software currently accounts for about 3 percent of its revenue, according to Thomson Reuters data.The giant of England’s “Silicon Fen” in and around Cambridge, Autonomy makes software that searches and keeps track of corporate and government data. It was founded in 1996 by Mike Lynch, the chief executive, who owns 8 percent of the company.A a deal for Autonomy would be H.P.’s third largest acquisition ever, after Compaq Computer and Electronic Data Systems.A price tag near $10 billion would represent a rich premium for Autonomy, which has a market value of about $6 billion. The company already trades at a much higher multiple than other software companies on the London Stock Exchange, Capital IQ data show.For the 12 months ended on June 30, Autonomy had revenue of $969 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.News of the deal was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.Shares of Hewlett-Packard, which had been down sharply along with the rest of the technology sector, surged after the report before a circuit breaker paused trading in the shares. When trading resumed, the shares slipped.