8 January 2004 Database giant Oracle will have to raise its $7.5 billion bid for rival PeopleSoft, chief financial officer Jeff Henley has conceded.
The hostile takeover battle has already driven PeopleSoft’s stock price 20% higher than Oracle’s offer and, as a result, acceptances are running at less than 5%. “Nobody is going to tender, even if we get the clearance,” Henley told Canada’s Financial Post.
At the same time, the bid process had been complicated by the antitrust investigations being conducted in the US and Europe. Oracle will reconsider its offer, he added, after PeopleSoft files its financial results for 2003, due shortly.
Henley said that he expected a decision from the regulators “in another month or two”.
Oracle launched a $5.1 billion hostile bid for PeopleSoft in June 2003 in the same week that PeopleSoft announced its agreed $1.7 billion bid for JD Edwards. The PeopleSoft board rejected the Oracle bid, which was quickly raised to $6.3 billion, while pushing ahead with the JD Edwards takeover.
That was completed a month later in July 2003, forcing Oracle to increase its bid for a second time, to $7.5 billion. In September 2003, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had indicated that the company would not raise its bid for PeopleSoft a third time.