Oracle Closing In On $8.5 Billion Buyout Of BEA Systems


Oracle Corp.'s plan to acquire middleware supplier BEA Systems Inc. for $8.5 billion is drawing closer to completion.

This week the deal was given the green light by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. And San Jose, Calif.-based BEA has scheduled a shareholder vote on the deal for April 4.

Thursday BEA, in what will likely be its final earnings report as an independent company, said sales in its fourth quarter increased 13 percent to $440.9 million. Licenses fees, a key growth indicator, grew 6 percent to $179.5 million in the quarter while net income reached $75.7 million.

For the year ended Jan. 31 BEA reported a 10 percent year-over-year increase in sales to $1.54 billion and net income reached $208.2 million. But license revenue declined 4 percent from the previous year to $552 million.

Last month BEA acquiesced to Oracle's offer to buy the company for $19.375 per share or $8.5 billion ($7.2 billion net of BEA's $1.3 billion in cash). That came after Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif., pursued the acquisition for nearly three months, ultimately increasing its initial $6.6 billion offer by almost $2 billion.

Earlier this week Oracle said that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission had granted early termination of the review period required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust law. BEA shareholders will vote on the deal at a special shareholders' meeting scheduled for April 4. The deal also still requires regulatory clearance from the European Commission.