Oracle Learns PeopleSoft Will Reject Bid

upping the bid to $24

In the release, Oracle chairman Jeff Henley wrote: "PeopleSoft's shareholders now face a very simple decision. They can accept our all-cash $24.00 per share offer on November 19th or it will be withdrawn. We leave it to PeopleSoft's shareholders to decide whether PeopleSoft's current management can deliver better shareholder value now, or within any reasonable investment horizon."

Not surprisingly, PeopleSoft's channel partners are relieved. "I'm glad it looks like it's coming to a close," said Roger Harris, general manager of PeopleSoft solution provider MSS Technologies, Lakewood, Colo. "My friends inside Oracle would be glad if it came to a close a well, because it's upsetting clients at both sides of the fence. Customers don't know what the future holds. It needs to get settled."

Financial Analysts are of two minds whether PeopleSoft is worth the $8.8 billion acquisition. One set of analysts, for example, consider $27 a share a fair valuation. Others, such as Charlie Di Bona of independent financial research house Sanford Bernstein, said the Pleasanton, Calif., company is worth less than $20 a share. It remains with the shareholders to decide. The top 20 institutional and mutual fund investors in PeopleSoft hold roughly half of all outstanding stock.

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