Oracle still on the hunt for PeopleSoft

Extends tender offer to mid-October, number of shares offered up by PeopleSoft shareholders flatlining at about 10 per cent
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|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/03/2003

T

he battle for control of PeopleSoft is still very much on — at least from Oracle’s point of view.

Oracle, whose hostile-takeover pursuit of PeopleSoft officially began in June, has extended its tender for all of the common stock of PeopleSoft for $19.50 US to midnight on Friday, Oct. 17.

The number of shares offered up to the company hasn’t grown significantly over the last month, according to figures provided by Oracle. On Aug. 8, it said about 37.7 million shares had been tendered by PeopleSoft’s shareholders. By Sept. 4, that number had grown to 38.7 million —slightly more than 10 per cent of PeopleSoft’s shares, a far cry from the majority share Oracle is seeking.

But the company said it is still wholly committed to the takeover.

“PeopleSoft’s plan means confusion and execution risk for customers and shareholders,” said Jim Finn, a spokesman for Oracle. “Oracle believes that its fully financed, all cash offer for PeopleSoft represents the better plan for PeopleSoft shareholders and customers. We remain fully committed to our offer.”

But PeopleSoft still wants no part of Oracle, and is pushing ahead with its own plans. On Sept. 4, the firm’s board of directors authorized a stock re-purchase program for up to $350 million US of the company’s common stock.

PeopleSoft has also wrapped up its friendly takeover of J.D. Edwards & Company, a move it said makes PeopleSoft the second largest enterprise applications software company in the world. SAP, a software firm based in Germany, is the largest.

PeopleSoft purchased all remaining shares of J.D. Edwards not tendered in its exchange offer at the end of August. It initially purchased about 105 million of J.D. Edwards’ outstanding shares through a stock swap on July 17, 2003. The consideration to be paid for each remaining J.D. Edwards share will be $7.05 in cash plus 0.43 of a share of PeopleSoft common stock.

“Over the last month we have moved rapidly to integrate the two companies,” said PeopleSoft president and CEO Craig Conway. “During that time, customer response has been outstanding and employees have been energized. I am more confident than ever that this combination will result in enhanced value for shareholders.”

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