Oracle finally acquires PeopleSoft

After 18 months of contentious negotiations that frequently emphasized the "hostile" in hostile takeovers, Oracle Corp. has won over PeopleSoft Inc.'s board of directors, who have agreed to be acquired at a price of $26.50 per share. The total value of the transaction between the two enterprise software titans is approximately $10.3 billion. In the process, Oracle is now running a strong second to SAP as the largest vendor of business application software.

"This merger works because we will have more customers, which increases our ability to invest more in applications development and support," says Larry Ellison, Oracle's CEO. "We intend to enhance PeopleSoft 8 and develop a PeopleSoft 9 and enhance a JD Edwards 5 and develop a JD Edwards 6. We intend to immediately extend and improve support for existing JD Edwards and PeopleSoft customers worldwide."

"After careful consideration, we believe this revised offer provides good value for PeopleSoft stockholders and represents a substantial increase in value from October," says A. George "Skip" Battle, chairman of PeopleSoft's transaction committee. "This has been a long, emotional struggle, and our employees have consistently performed well under the most challenging of circumstances. The board salutes our employees for their outstanding dedication to PeopleSoft and is grateful to our customers who have continued to buy our products and stand by us during these uncertain times."

Oracle and PeopleSoft will each stay all pending litigation and will dismiss such litigation permanently following the consummation of the offer.

The offer is subject to at least a majority of the fully diluted outstanding shares being validly tendered into the offer and to a limited number of other customary conditions.

"PeopleSoft customers will undoubtedly have mixed reactions to the merger news," says Jim Shepherd with analyst firm AMR Research Inc. "While most of them would probably have preferred a different result, they have all been struggling to develop IT strategies amid the uncertainty. We expect Oracle to immediately reach out to the PeopleSoft customer base to reassure them and begin to establish positive relationships."

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