PeopleSoft board votes to reject Oracle offer

Jon Panker

PeopleSoft Inc.'s board of directors has unanimously voted to recommend that stockholders reject Oracle Corp.'s takeover bid, the company said in a statement released this morning.

The board felt that Oracle's announcement that it would discontinue PeopleSoft products creates uncertainty for PeopleSoft customers and negatively impacts the company's financial performance.

It also said that the Oracle acquisition would raise significant antitrust issues, resulting in a long approval process with the likelihood that authorities in the U.S. and Europe would ultimately reject the deal.

On Friday, Oracle offered to buy all the outstanding shares of PeopleSoft for $5.1 billion. PeopleSoft stock has been trading at a couple of dollars higher than Oracle's offer of $16 per share.

"Oracle's offer seeks to enrich Oracle at the expense of PeopleSoft's stockholders, customers and employees," PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway said in a statement. He added that the deal would "stifle competition and limit customer choice."

At the same time that it voted to recommend rejecting Oracle's offer, the PeopleSoft board reaffirmed its plans to buy J.D. Edwards & Co in a $1.7 billion stock deal. On Wednesday, PeopleSoft filed papers with the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department announcing its intention to acquire J.D. Edwards.

PeopleSoft shareholders ultimately have to approve or reject the Oracle offer.

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