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Oracle Wins

Ellison Writes "Let's Meet" Letter to PeopleSoft Board

Related Links:

  • Ellison Triumph: Oracle Can Proceed with PeopleSoft Takeover Bid, Court Decides
  • Oracle's Numbers Explain Why It Wants PeopleSoft
  • P'Soft to Oracle: What Is It about 'NO!' You Don't Understand?
  • Oracle Eyes Other Acquisitions - Including BEA?
  • Ellison: Acquisition Strategy "Only Way to Survive"

    Oracle has won the suit brought by the Justice Department to stop it from acquiring PeopleSoft just as the armchair speculators who kept tabs on the four-week trial said it would.

    The judge said the government failed to prove its case but stayed his order for 10 days so the DOJ can appeal.

    The agency late Thursday confessed to being "disappointed" and said that it was considering its options.

    The DOJ claimed an Oracle-PeopleSoft acquisition would eliminate one of only three players in the market. Oracle retorted that the feds were drawing the market too tightly and that Microsoft for one should be added to the mix.

    Microsoft, which claimed it wasn't an enterprise player yet, wound up testifying for the prosecution, trying to forestall the tie-up that had sent it into failed acquisition talks with SAP, the market's big kahuna. One wonders now whether those negotiations will be resurrected.

    PeopleSoft can't hide behind the claim that its acquisition would be anti-competitive or violate antitrust law anymore.

    It may even have to finally start negotiating with Oracle, which is expected to sweeten its current $21-a-share bid. The $7.7 billion price represents a 17% premium over PeopleSoft's stock price yesterday and a 39% premium over the day 16 months ago when Oracle made its first bid.

    PeopleSoft complained that Oracle's price was too low even when it was $26 a share. Oracle lowered its bid, which had started at $16 a share, when PeopleSoft's results started slipping and in July PeopleSoft warned that it would miss expectation for the year.

    Oracle still has to deal with PeopleSoft's poison pill defenses, the European trustbusters who put their review on hold pending the district court's decision and state antitrust suits claiming Oracle will trash PeopleSoft's software and hurt users. There is also the little matter of PeopleSoft's suit against Oracle claiming its pursuit damaged its business.

    In a canned statement, Oracle chairman Jeff Henley said. "This decision puts the onus squarely on the board of PeopleSoft to meet with us and to redeem their poison pill so that shareholders can accept our offer."

    Oracle immediately penned a letter to the PeopleSoft board urging it to reconsider its position now that "the primary reason you have sited in recommending against our offer" has been removed. It was signed by Henley and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who added that they were looking forward to meeting with the board "at your earliest convenience."

    Oracle also extended its hostile tender offer for the eleventh time until September 24.

    Oracle has spent more than $60 million trying to get PeopleSoft and PeopleSoft has spend more than $70 million evading it.

    Related Links:

  • Ellison Triumph: Oracle Can Proceed with PeopleSoft Takeover Bid, Court Decides
  • Oracle's Numbers Explain Why It Wants PeopleSoft
  • P'Soft to Oracle: What Is It about 'NO!' You Don't Understand?
  • Oracle Eyes Other Acquisitions - Including BEA?
  • Ellison: Acquisition Strategy "Only Way to Survive"
  • More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

    Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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