It's War! - PeopleSoft investors side with Oracle

The fun begins

The investors have spoken and decided that Oracle buying PeopleSoft for $9.2bn in cash sounds like a pretty good deal.

More than 60 per cent of PeopleSoft investors tendered their shares to Oracle, giving the database maker the go ahead to pursue its acquisition bid. Oracle had vowed to give up on the takeover if the majority of PeopleSoft shareholders didn't tender their shares by a Friday deadline. Now that it has the majority on its side, Oracle must still fight a couple of major battles to secure PeopleSoft.

"We believe it is time to bring this matter to a close, for the good of PeopleSoft's shareholders, customers, and employees," said Oracle's Chairman Jeff Henley. "We are prepared to complete and pay for the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of PeopleSoft upon satisfaction of the remaining conditions, which are all in the control of the PeopleSoft Board."

Oracle has requested a meeting with PeopleSoft's board "to enter into a final merger agreement." The company is looking for PeopleSoft to drop its poison pill anti-takeover provision that would flood the market with PeopleSoft shares, significantly raising the price Oracle would have to pay to acquire the company.

Oracle will now likely look to have shareholders elect new PeopleSoft board members that support its takeover proposal. An Oracle-friendly board could cancel the poison pill. This tactic may be unnecessary if a Delaware court sides with Oracle and throws out the poison pill provision first.

Oracle has extended its tender offer for PeopleSoft until Dec. 31. ®

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