PeopleSoft shares decline after Oracle bid rejection

Oracle's share price took a boost late last week following the publishing of better than expected quarterly results, just as PeopleSoft's stock closed down on the day after it rejected Oracle's hostile takeover bid. PeopleSoft fell 45 cents, as Oracle rose 15 cents.

The decline was not a good omen for PeopleSoft. Having been rebuffed by PeopleSoft's board, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison will now take his case for a takeover directly to shareholders in a series of meetings over the next few weeks.

If shareholders begin to sell their stock to Oracle, PeopleSoft conceivably can thwart the deal by using an antitakeover "poison pill." PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway insists that customers have been overwhelmingly supportive of the company since Oracle launched its bid. "Customers' most common conclusion to their calls and their e-mails is, 'What can I do to help?'" he said.

PeopleSoft has already said that it expects the takeover to be rejected on anti-trust grounds, but Oracle took the first steps to counter this by filing papers asking federal regulators to review how its proposed takeover would affect competition. The preliminary review could be completed before the end of the month and before Oracle's bid ends on 7th July.

Meanwhile JD Edwards welcomed PeopleSoft's rejection of the Oracle bid. "JD Edwards and PeopleSoft share the firm conviction that Oracle's hostile action benefits Oracle alone and is designed to disrupt the momentum of both of our companies, and the technology marketplace" Bob Dutkowsky, JD Edwards CEO.


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