Ellison: ‘I’ll buy PeopleSoft if it takes a year’


10 July 2003 Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has reiterated his determination to acquire PeopleSoft and suggested that it could be next summer before the issue is finally settled.

Speaking at an analyst meeting, Ellison said that if regulators waive the deal through, then he will sue PeopleSoft in a bid to have its ‘poison pill’ anti-takeover provisions lifted. Failing that, he would try and get a new board elected at PeopleSoft’s annual general meeting next June.

Ellison said that he would pursue the takeover of PeopleSoft regardless of whether PeopleSoft’s own acquisition of JD Edwards goes through or not. “We have one dominant player in the industry, which is bigger than numbers two, three and four combined,” he said.

He added: “Maybe numbers two, three and four should combine and give them a run for their money.”

Ellison also claimed that PeopleSoft would not be able to survive long term in a fast consolidating software market. “With or without us, PeopleSoft cannot survive… They cannot compete in this business long term,” he said.

Oracle executive vice president Chuck Phillips pointed to Oracle’s greater cash flow and revenues as proof that the deal would be better for PeopleSoft stockholders. “We have more in cash flow than PeopleSoft and JD Edwards combined have in revenue,” he said.

Phillips pointed out that Oracle has three times the cash-in-hand of PeopleSoft, five times the staff and 12 times the market capitalisation.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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