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PeopleSoft plunks down $1.7bn for J.D. Edwards

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PeopleSoft is to gobble up J.D. Edwards for $1.7 billion in shares.

The two companies have combined annual revenues of $2.8 billion, which would rank second behind SAP in the enterprise applications market. The deal should help PeopleSoft expand its reach in the services and manufacturing industries.

The two companies announced the plan on Monday and expect to close the deal in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter. J.D. Edwards will becomes a PeopleSoft subsidiary, and the combined company will have 13,000 employees.

Software makers have been merging apace during these troubled times. The glory days of the CRM-startup have passed.

Some of the bigger buys of late include IBM's acquisition of Rational, Veritas' purchase of Precise and Jareva, and EMC's deal to grab Astrum Software.

PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards hope that overlap between their existing customer bases will be minimal. PeopleSoft has its expertise in high-end CRM and ERP apps, while J.D. Edwards tends to play with smaller companies, especially those involved in manufacturing.

PeopleSoft could use a boost to make up for a slowdown in revenue. The company has already warned that 2003 profits will come in below last year's. In addition, those always timid competitors Oracle and Microsoft are eyeing PeopleSoft's business hungrily.

With this deal, PeopleSoft has planted a large stake through the heart of the mid-market and signaled that it's more than ready to take Redmond head on. ®

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