Oracle’s Advances Are Spurned Once Again

A sweetened $9.4 billion valentine fails to win over PeopleSoft.
Stephen TaubFebruary 10, 2004

Software provider PeopleSoft rejected the latest takeover offer from larger rival Oracle, stating that it undervalues the company, according to Reuters.

Last week Oracle raised its bid from $19.50 per share to $26 per share — a 33 percent increase — but PeopleSoft announced that its board of directors believes this latest offer is still too low. The board urged its shareholders to reject the offer, added Reuters.

Late last month Oracle launched a proxy fight by nominating five individuals to the PeopleSoft board of directors, although only four of eight seats are up for election.

Oracle added that it intends to introduce a stockholder proposal to expand the PeopleSoft board to nine members if Michael Maples is not put up for election. Maples joined PeopleSoft’s board in mid-July as part of its acquisition of J.D. Edwards & Co., where he held a seat on that company’s board.

“We believe that the incumbent PeopleSoft board of directors has consistently refused to consider its stockholders’ best interests” regarding the tender offer, said Oracle spokesperson Jim Finn.

In a statement, PeopleSoft countered that “We believe that Larry Ellison’s attempt to gain control of PeopleSoft’s board of directors is solely to advance Oracle’s agenda and is not in the best interests of PeopleSoft’s stockholders,” adding that Oracle’s offer significantly undervalued the company.