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Oracle cut its bid for PeopleSoft by 20 per cent on Friday, reducing its offer from $26 to $21 per share. The new offer values PeopleSoft at $7.7bn rather than $9.4bn

Peoplesoft's board said it considered the previous offer was too low and that continued anti-trust action in Europe and the US meant the deal was unlikely to go through at any price. The board also suggested that the timing of the announcement, just before PeopleSoft's big customer conference, was hardly coincidental. The board will formally evaluate the new offer at its scheduled board meeting later this month.

Oracle chairman Jeff Henley said: "Our revised offer reflects changes in market conditions and in PeopleSoft's market valuation. Our new offer represents a premium of 21 per cent over PeopleSoft's closing price today of $17.30."

Oracle has also extended the offer which was due to expire 25 June; investors now have until 16 July to make up their minds.®

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