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PeopleSoft shows J.D. Edwards the money

Adds cash to bid

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PeopleSoft has reworked its bid for J.D. Edwards, hoping to convince shareholders the deal should proceed no matter what Oracle says.

A new agreement has PeopleSoft paying $863 million in cash and issuing 52.6 million shares of stock to scoop up enterprise app maker J.D. Edwards. Shareholders can pick the previous $1.7 billion all stock bid or choose to receive $7.05 and 0.42 a share of PeopleSoft stock for every share of J.D. Edwards they own.

PeopleSoft hopes this move will help close the deal at a quicker clip and stop earnings per share from being watered down too much. Adding cash to the equation calls for less PeopleSoft shares to be issued.

PeopleSoft shareholders may convene as early as the first week of July to vote on the deal. Executives from both companies are scrambling to convince customers and investors that they are serious about making this transaction happen.

J.D. Edwards shareholders will no doubt be pleased to see the cash option and to see that PeopleSoft has hiked its bid from $1.7 billion to $1.75 billion.

Oracle has a different idea about the way things should play out. The database giant has offered to pony up $5.1 billion for PeopleSoft - a brutal bid backed up by equally forceful tactics.

Oracle issued a statement on Monday, taking a swipe at PeopleSoft.

"If you consider that PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards put together the best financing approach when they announced their original merger, this sub-optimal approach can only be a ploy to preserve management's self-interest," Jim Finn, Oracle spokesman said in the statement. "This move does not deter Oracle and our offer remains before shareholders."

Due to the fierce nature of their conflict, it's to be expected that both sides would do some repositioning.

The Hatfields and McCoys may have settled their feud, but this one is just beginning. ®

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