Money back offer back on the table from PeopleSoft

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PeopleSoft’s money back guarantee if Oracle takes it over is back on the table in the latest bid to deter Oracle from completing its hostile takeover bid.

The so-called "customer assurance program" means it would refund the purchase price of its software to new customers if the company is bought out and the next owner decides to discontinue Peoplesoft products. Analysts estimate the deal could cost Oracle up to $391 million.

The deal was offered earlier this year, but dropped at end of June. It has now been reinstated because according to a PeopleSoft spokesman: "There has been a lot of uncertainty caused by Oracle. This thing has lingered on." This is despite CEO Craig Conway telling US media that the “Oracle saga” is in the past as far as he is concerned.

An Oracle spokeswoman said the offer "is nothing more than an unsustainable gimmick to close deals. It's a hollow rebate offer, and it is a moot point because Oracle will support all of PeopleSoft's customers for a period that far exceeds the support deadlines that PeopleSoft intends to meet."

Oracle's current tender offer for PeopleSoft expires at midnight on 19th September. Meanwhile Oracle will next week host another online ‘Town Hall’ meeting for PeopleSoft customers and shareholders. To participate in Wednesday's Town Hall meeting via the Web, or for more information, access http://www.oracle.com/peoplesoft/townhall.html.

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