Siebel Shareholders Approve the Oracle Takeover

Siebel Systems shareholders today overwhelmingly endorsed Oracle's $5.85 billion takeover proposal that was announced in September 2005. Of the stockholders voting, 98.73 percent approved the acquisition, which represented 67.12 percent of outstanding shares of common stock. The meeting at which the announcement was concluded with a brief, emotional statement from Tom Siebel, chairman of Siebel's board of directors. "I'd like to thank you all for your support of Siebel Systems throughout the years," Siebel said. "It's been a great personal privilege and a professional experience of a lifetime to serve you all." Approval of the takeover was highly anticipated, especially as Oracle executives have continuously stressed their commitment to their newfound customer base and pointed out that the relationship is a friendly one-as opposed to the lengthy, hostile Oracle $11 billion takeover of PeopleSoft, which was completed in January 2005. Earlier this month, Oracle President Charles Phillips announced during a strategy event in San Francisco that the company's Project Fusion middleware initiative is halfway complete, and it remains on track to deliver Oracle Fusion Applications in 2008. He said the company feels confident that 80 percent of its customers will be able to upgrade to these applications. That same day, John Wookey, senior vice president of applications development, outlined new functionality Oracle plans to release this year to lay the groundwork for customers that want to upgrade to Fusion products. Wookey spoke about a Web Services Repository to help customers with integration issues and build custom application using Oracle Portal. He also detailed the steps Oracle already has taken to help ease the transition onto the new application set. "We've developed the upgrade architecture and will begin working with a customer advisory board later this year to help determine the best ways to automate and ease the upgrade process. Our customers and partners participating on the Fusion Customer Council have been enthusiastic about the significant progress we've made in such a short period of time." Today's approval comes less than one week after Siebel announced higher-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, which CEO George Shaheen said in a written statement marked the company's best revenue, profit, and cash-generation performance since the first quarter of 2002. Total revenues for Q4 2005 were $469 million, up 19 percent from last year. Net income rose to $89 million, up from $54 million. This growth was driven by a 33 percent increase in license revenue to about $214 million, according to the company. Shaheen said in the statement that the positive results reflect on consumer confidence in the future of Siebel's CRM and analytic products despite the takeover deal. Related articles: Oracle and Siebel: What Does It Mean for Customers?
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