Oracle Keeping At It

Even after PeopleSoft announced Friday that it has completed its acquisition of J.D. Edwards, Oracle still insists it will complete its hostile takeover of the combined company. "We believe time is on our side. Oracle remains committed to acquiring PeopleSoft -- even with the addition of J.D. Edwards," Jim Finn, Oracle spokesman, said in a statement. Steve Swasey, a spokesman for PeopleSoft, says that PeopleSoft is more concerned with the business of integrating the two companies right now. "We are focusing on our business and on moving forward," he says. Swasey says that Oracle has about 11 percent of the total shares needed to acquire PeopleSoft, and that the company is letting its market performance, and the fact that it has become the number-two application vendor behind SAP AG, speak for itself regarding shareholders selling out to Oracle. "We continue to see tremendous customer support," he adds. PeopleSoft will issue about 52 million additional shares of PeopleSoft stock as part of its arrangement with J.D. Edwards shareholders, Swasey says. This would add approximately another billion dollars to Oracle's offer price of $19.50 per share, possibly nixing the increasingly expensive deal. Even though Oracle's resolve is solid, some analysts say Oracle may not get its hands on PeopleSoft anytime soon. "We do not expect Oracle's hostile tender offer for PeopleSoft to be resolved until the PeopleSoft stockholders meeting next June," says Patrick Walravens, managing director and senior research analyst covering application software at JMP Securities. "PeopleSoft effectively has until that time to prove to investors that a combined PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards is worth more than $19.50 a share." Oracle has said it will try to vote in seats on the PeopleSoft board next June, when four members seats are up for grabs.
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