Oracle issues what it calls final offer for PeopleSoft

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Enough may be enough for Oracle. Early this week, the database giant upped its cash bid for PeopleSoft for, what it says is the final time, to US$24 per share up from US$21.

Enough may be enough for Oracle. Early this week, the database giant upped its cash bid for PeopleSoft for, what it says is the final time, to US$24 per share up from US$21.

Saying the bid represents a "significant premium" for PeopleSoft, the company said it will withdraw its 16-month-old offer if it does not get the requisite shares voted by 19 November. In a statement, Oracle said its new US$24-per-share bid is about 60 percent higher than PeopleSoft's share price on the day before Oracle announced its hostile offer in June 2003.

Oracle has raised the ante several times in its long quest to buy out an enterprise applications rival. It has also taken its case directly to PeopleSoft shareholders.

Last week, the European Commission dropped any objections it may have had to the buyout. A federal judge in San Francisco also disallowed US Department of Justice concerns that a merged Oracle-PeopleSoft would be anticompetitive.

"Our best and final offer is US$24 per share, which we believe represents a substantial premium at which those shares would trade were it not for Oracle's offer," Oracle Chairman Jeff Henley said in a statement.

As of Monday [US], PeopleSoft was trading at US$20.77 per share, Oracle at US$12.66 per share.

In a statement, PeopleSoft advised its shareholders to take no action on Oracle's latest move. PeopleSoft's board will meet "to review the amended tender offer and make its recommendations," according to a statement.

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