OracleSoft coming out party set for Jan. 18

Horrible Apart

Oracle has planned a Jan. 18 event to convince customers, partners the press and analysts why its contentious buy of PeopleSoft made sense.

The theme for this event is "Better Together" - clear proof that savvy lawyers and not marketing geniuses have played the biggest role in this $10bn merger of software giants. Oracle revealed its plans for the Jan. 18 webcast on its web site.

The "Better Together" slogan may be tough for OracleSoft employees to gulp down. Management plans to hand out walking papers to an unknown number of workers on Jan 14. "Employees who will not continue with the combined company will be notified on that date wherever possible," Oracle said. Merger documents that came out during Oracle's court battle with PeopleSoft suggested up to 6,000 staffers may be axed.

Oracle already controls PeopleSoft's board and holds the majority of PeopleSoft shares. It, however, has not said if the 90 percent of PeopleSoft shares needed to speed the deal's closure have yet been tendered. If not, Oracle will have to hold a special shareholders' meeting to vote on the deal - a process which could officially delay its takeover by four to six weeks.

Despite these complications, Oracle is obviously ready to move ahead with its cheerleading. Participants on the Jan. 18 webcast will be able to submit questions to Oracle executives. The company will later hold regional brainwashing sessions.

Oracle has vowed to release one more rev of PeopleSoft software before combining the two companies' products. ®

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