Oracle bid just not high enough, says PeopleSoft board

Oracle?s offer for PeopleSoft is not high enough, according to the target company?s board of directors who once again have rejected the predator?s bid.

The PeopleSoft's board of directors said Oracle?s $19.50-a-share cash tender offer "severely undervalues PeopleSoft based on its financial performance and future opportunities." It added that "massive downside risk is a critical consideration in evaluating any Oracle transaction."

The board additionally claimed that a PeopleSoft-Oracle deal would face "many months of delay for review by antitrust authorities and a significant likelihood that, in the end, the transaction would be blocked as anticompetitive."

It made no comment on the likelihood that the proposed deal between JD Edwards and PeopleSoft - of which both parties approve - is equally likely to come under the spotlight now.

Meanwhile Oracle has postponed a crucial court hearing scheduled for 16 July to hear arguments in a lawsuit alleging PeopleSoft's board breached its fiduciary duty to stockholders by resisting the takover offer. The parties the case will now meet on 25 July.

"This is simply a postponement of the hearing date, which made sense to all parties given the second request Oracle received from the Department of Justice yesterday and the longer timetable it implies," said an Oracle spokesperson.

"Oracle continues to maintain that PeopleSoft and its board have breached their fiduciary duties to PeopleSoft's shareholders, and Oracle will continue to seek redemption of the PeopleSoft 'poison pill."

The decision to delay the court hearing came after the Justice Department effectively froze Oracle's offer by demanding more information about how the proposed PeopleSoft takeover will affect competition in the $20 billion market for business applications software.


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