18 June 2003 Oracle Corporation has today increased its hostile takeover bid for enterprise applications rival PeopleSoft by more than $1.2 billion, bringing the total cash bid to $6.3 billion.
The new bid represents a premium of 29% on the closing price of PeopleSoft’s stock on the day of the bid announcement.
The move, which had been widely expected, will increase the pressure on PeopleSoft’s management to open negotiations with Oracle.
Oracle has also sought to placate worried PeopleSoft customers, ensuring them that the products “will be supported for years to come”. Previously, Oracle had suggested it would phase out the PeopleSoft products.
To date, the battle has been acrimonious, with Craig Conway, PeopleSoft’s CEO, dismissing the bid as “atrocious behaviour” intended to destabilise PeopleSoft’s sales and undermine its own agreed bid for midrange ERP software company JD Edwards.
Both JD Edwards and PeopleSoft have issued writs against Oracle. The two have also agreed to fast track their merger in order to head off attempts by Oracle to prevent the deal. Oracle now intends to file a suit against PeopleSoft’s management, saying they have breached their fiduciary duty to shareholders.
The increased bid signals Oracle’s serious intent. Its web site is now brimming with documents aimed at convincing PeopleSoft’s investors and customers of the merits of the takeover.