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Oracle stays hot on PeopleSoft's heels

It has once again extended the takeover deadline, giving antitrust authorities more time to weigh in.

Oracle Corp. announced Friday that it remains committed to its $7.3 billion bid to acquire rival PeopleSoft Inc. and has extended its tender offer to PeopleSoft shareholders for the sixth time.

Previously, the tender offer was set to expire at midnight on Dec. 31. The Redwood Shores, Calif., company is now extending the deadline to Feb. 13.

As of Dec. 9, about 12.4 million PeopleSoft shares have been tendered and not withdrawn, Oracle said. That represents roughly 3% of the Pleasanton, Calif., company's outstanding shares, a sharp decrease from the 24.8 million shares Oracle announced had been tendered at the last extension.

"The continued underwhelming response to Oracle's unsolicited tender offer is consistent with the PeopleSoft Board of Directors' conclusion that Oracle's offer is not in the best interest of PeopleSoft stockholders," PeopleSoft stated in a release. "PeopleSoft's board believes that Oracle's offer significantly undervalues the company by any objective valuation measure and faces serious antitrust concerns."

Oracle's offer for PeopleSoft shares stands at $19.50. PeopleSoft stock opened Monday at $22.13.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the European commission have both launched antitrust investigations into the implications of an Oracle takeover. Oracle executives have said they expect both agencies to approve the merger in January.

Oracle launched the takeover bid in June and has said it will phase out PeopleSoft's product line after offering ongoing support.


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