Oracle Extends PeopleSoft Deadline
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (AP) _ Business software maker Oracle Corp. extended its $7.5 billion hostile takeover bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc. through the end of the year, giving the proposed deal more time to clear legal hurdles.
The $19.50-per-share offer for Pleasanton-based PeopleSoft had been set to expire Oct. 17. Friday’s decision to push the deadline back to Dec. 31 didn’t come as a surprise; it marked the fifth time Oracle has extended offer since launching the bid in early June.
Although PeopleSoft has already rejected the offer, Oracle insists it won’t give up the fight unless the U.S. Department of Justice blocks the proposed deal for competitive reasons. Oracle expects government regulators to complete an antitrust review in November.
Oracle also is waging a battle in a Delaware court to force PeopleSoft to withdraw an antitakeover defense known as a ``poison pill.″
PeopleSoft investors currently have little reason to support an offer that’s fallen below the company’s current market value. PeopleSoft shares fell five cents to close at $20.55 Friday on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where Oracle’s shares remained unchanged at $12.33.
Through Friday, 24.8 million PeopleSoft shares, representing about 6 percent of the company’s stock, had been tendered to Oracle. The figures show support for the bid is dwindling. A little over month ago, 38.7 million PeopleSoft shares had been tendered. Industry analysts believe Oracle will have to raise its bid if it hopes to complete the takeover.
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