Oracle ups PeopleSoft bid to US$9.4bil

NEW YORK: Software provider Oracle Corp has raised its unsolicited takeover offer for PeopleSoft Inc by a third to US$9.4bil, signalling its determination to win over the latter's shareholders ahead of a key March vote. 

Analysts said the new bid was compelling and saw Oracle’s bravado as a sign of confidence ahead of a crucial ruling from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on whether the deal would be anti-competitive. 

“Oracle wouldn’t have gone forward if it didn’t believe it would get DOJ approval for the bid,” said Summit Technology Partners analyst Richard Williams. 

The market took a wait-and-see approach, however. Oracle, the world’s No. 2 software maker, raised its offer for PeopleSoft to US$26 per share from US$19.50, as it seeks to create a business software maker to better compete with Germany’s SAP and larger rival Microsoft Corp. 

Yet, PeopleSoft shares closed more than US$3 below that level at US$22.70 on Wednesday, as investors remained sceptical ahead of the regulatory ruling. Oracle, which said this was its final offer, expects a decision before March 12. 

PeopleSoft, which has characterised Oracle’s bid as a plot to eliminate a rival, said its board would meet to review the new offer and asked its shareholders not to act on the latest bid. – Reuters

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