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Oracle puts $525m between SAP and Retek

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Oracle continues to prove its passion for acquisition and annoyance. It announced an offer today for software maker Retek that beats out an earlier bid from rival SAP.

Oracle said it will make a tender offer on Wednesday for Retek of $9 per share in cash or close to $525m. That's considerably more than the $8.50 per share - or $496m - bid placed last week by SAP. Retek specializes in retail software used to track inventory and to control distribution systems.

"Oracle's Applications business in North America is larger than SAP's," said Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison. "We intend to defend our number one position."

Keeping things really interesting, Oracle revealed that it purchased 5.5m shares of Retek stock this week. That amount is close to 10 per cent of Retek's outstanding stock.

Retek's board had already approved and recommended the SAP purchase. The company pulled in $174m last year and has more than 200 customers. Neither SAP nor Retek immediately returned calls seeking comment.

SAP must know it's in for a real battle after seeing Oracle's protracted effort to buy PeopleSoft. Database Larry won't give in anytime soon. ®

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