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Oracle again extends bid for PeopleSoft

Oracle has once again extended its offer to acquire PeopleSoft, this time until 31 December. It also disclosed that the number of...

Oracle has once again extended its offer to acquire PeopleSoft, this time until 31 December. It also disclosed that the number of shares tendered in favour of the merger has fallen from a month ago.

Oracle announced its $5.1bn unsolicited bid for PeopleSoft in June and, in the face of strong resistance from PeopleSoft, has since raised its offer to $7.3bn. It has renewed its bid for the company at least five times, with the most recent offer set to expire on 17 October.

At of the close of business on Friday, a total of 24,812,259 shares had been tendered in and not withdrawn from the offer, representing about 8% of all outstanding shares, said Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Lilienthal. That's down from 38,718,737 shares at the close of business on 4 September.

The spokeswoman argued that the drop in tendered shares does not indicate that support for the acquisition is waning. PeopleSoft shareholders do not have an incentive to tender their shares in favour of the merger while it is still under review by the US Department of Justice for potential antitrust concerns, she said.

Oracle has said it will continue to extend the deadline for acceptance of the deal until it reaches its goal of acquiring a majority of PeopleSoft's outstanding shares. The company is as committed to the merger today as it was when it first announced its offer, Oracle spokesman Jim Finn said.

PeopleSoft executives have been dismissing the Oracle bid as a dead issue and have been concentrating their energies on integrating PeopleSoft's products with those of JD Edwards, which PeopleSoft acquired in July

James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service

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