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PeopleSoft wins DOJ approval for JD Edwards deal: Oracle extends offer

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has ended its review of PeopleSoft's planned acquisition of JD Edwards, clearing the way for the transaction to close later this month.

PeopleSoft chief executive officer Craig Conway hailed the DOJ approval as great news. His company has been racing to close the acquisition, announced in early June and valued at $1.75bn, ever since Oracle launched a hostile bid to take over PeopleSoft.

PeopleSoft's planned deal with JD Edwards, would bring together two of the largest providers of enterprise applications, allowing PeopleSoft to push Oracle aside as the number-two vendor in that market, behind SAP.

When Oracle first launched its bid, days after PeopleSoft and JD Edwards announced their plans to combine, company executives expressed a preference for buying PeopleSoft before it could swallow JD Edwards.

But Oracle executives responded Monday to news of the DOJ's decision by pledging to complete their takeover plans, even if JD Edwards is part of the package.

"We remain fully committed to acquiring PeopleSoft, with or without JD Edwards," an Oracle spokesman said.

Oracle has extended for the second time the deadline on its tender offer to acquire PeopleSoft shares. It is offering PeopleSoft shareholders $19.50 in cash, for a total of $6.3 billion, in exchange for a majority ownership stake in PeopleSoft.

The Oracle  offer was set to expire on 18 July but this has been pushed back to 15 August. Oracle has so far acquired 13.8% of PeopleSoft stock.

Stacy Cowley  writes for IDG News Service


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