Oracle lowers offer for PeopleSoft

Jon Panker, News Editor

Oracle Corp. has reduced the price it will to pay PeopleSoft investors to $21 per share, cutting the overall value of its attempted takeover to $7.7 billion.

Previously, the Redwood Shores,

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Calif.-headquartered database giant had offered $26 per share, or $9.4 billion, to acquire its business software rival.

"Our revised offer reflects changes in market conditions and in PeopleSoft's market valuation," Oracle chairman and CFO Jeff Henley said in a statement.

PeopleSoft stock, which traded at a yearly high of $24.04 in January, closed Friday at $17.30 per share. Oracle noted that the reduced price still represents a 21% premium. That exceeds the 19% payback that stockholders would have received when Oracle made its $26 offer in February.

In a press release, PeopleSoft called the timing of the announcement, which came on the eve of the Pleasanton, Calif., company's annual leadership summit, another attempt by Oracle to disrupt its business.

It also said that regulatory hurdles would prevent the Oracle takeover, regardless of the price.

In three weeks, Oracle will head to court to challenge the U.S. Department of Justice's ruling that the PeopleSoft acquisition would be anti-competitive.

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