PeopleSoft shareholders snub Oracle offer

11 August 2003 Software giant Oracle has been forced to give PeopleSoft shareholders more time to accept its hostile takeover bid after it admitted late last week that only a small percentage had accepted its offer.

Oracle says that regulatory delays are the main reason why shareholders are delaying their acceptance of its offer, worth about $7.3 billion, or $19.50 a share. So far, only about one tenth of PeopleSoft shares have been tendered to Oracle.

The deadline for shareholders to accept the offer has now been extended to September 19th, although Wall Street analysts believe that another extension is inevitable.

The number of PeopleSoft shares — and shareholders — has been substantially increased since the company completed its own agreed acquisition of business software rival JD Edwards.

Oracle says it remains committed to a takeover of PeopleSoft, complete with the JD Edwards unit, which it did not want. However, the bid is being reviewed by the Justice Department for antitrust implications and is being challenged in the courts by 30 US states.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says that if the US government clears the bid, he will challenge PeopleSoft’s “poison pill” defences in court and will seek to change the composition of the PeopleSoft board, which remains hostile to the Oracle takeover bid.

If the government does not give its approval, Oracle says it will abandon the bid.

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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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