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Oracle Ups Ante For PeopleSoft To $9.4 Billion

Barbara Darrow

In a statement issued early Wednesday morning, Oracle said the new offer represents an 18.8 percent premium over PeopleSoft's closing price of $21.89 per share on Tuesday. Oracle had been offering $19.50 per share, or $7.3 billion, in an acquisition attempt announced last June -- a move that PeopleSoft has fought bitterly ever since.

Oracle's latest offer faces antitrust approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before March 12. Oracle also extended its tender offer until midnight E.S.T. of that day. It had been set to expire this Friday at midnight E.S.T.

"We believe this acquisition is pro-competitive, will benefit the customers of both companies and will make Oracle an even more profitable company," Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said in a statement.

Oracle has upped its bids several times since June, but this time company seemed to close the doors to continued hikes.

"This is our final price," Oracle Chairman and CFO Jeff Henley said in a statement. "We strongly recommend that PeopleSoft stockholders make their views known by tendering their shares, approving our proposal to increase the size of the board to nine members and voting to elect five independent directors."

Last week, PeopleSoft said it was moving up its annual meeting to March 25, about two months earlier than usual. Oracle is trying to name its own slate of five directors to PeopleSoft's board.

For continuing coverage of the Oracle-PeopleSoft story, see CRN's News Center.

For more on Oracle's newly-shipping 10g database see story.

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