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Oracle cuts PeopleSoft offer

Oracle has reduced its offer to acquire PeopleSoft to $21 per share, or approximately $7.7bn, to bring the offer in line with the reduced value of PeopleSoft's shares.

The offer represents a premium of 21% over PeopleSoft's closing share price Friday of $17.30, said Oracle chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Henley. The previous offer was for $26 per share, or approximately $9.4bn.

The revised offer "reflects changes in market conditions and in PeopleSoft's market valuation", Henley said.

Oracle has extended its acquisition offer again, this time to 16 July. The offer had been set to expire on 25 June.

At close of business on Friday, 7.9 million PeopleSoft shares had been tendered for the offer and not withdrawn, Oracle said. This is down from about 12.4 million tendered shares in December, and about 43.8 million in July last year. PeopleSoft had 364 million outstanding shares as of 26 February, according to a regulatory filing.

Oracle launched its campaign to acquire PeopleSoft last June, when it submitted to PeopleSoft's shareholders an unsolicited $5.1bn bid for control of the company.

At the time, PeopleSoft's shares were trading at slightly more than $15. Their value climbed to about $24 at the start of the year but has since declined as regulators in both the US and Europe moved to block the deal.

The US Department of Justice has sued to prevent the merger on the grounds that it would stifle competition in the market for enterprise business applications. That case will begin trial on 7June.

James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service


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