Oracle’s offer for PeopleSoft is final, company says

18 Feb 2004

Oracle’s US$9.4bn offer for business software rival PeopleSoft is final, the company has warned. In a letter to shareholders, Ellison said that the offer was a compelling one in light of the fact that PeopleSoft’s revenue projects are below the consensus of Wall Street analysts.

In a letter to PeopleSoft shareholders, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (pictured) said that the US$26 a share deal offered a “substantial premium” and urged shareholders to tender their shares before a 12 March deadline.

The letter said that PeopleSoft’s directors have refused to meet with Oracle to discuss the latest US$9.4bn offer and execute a definitive and friendly merger agreement.

“This is our final price, and we believe it represents a compelling value for all PeopleSoft stockholders, particularly in light of PeopleSoft’s recent guidance below consensus Wall Street estimates for its first quarter revenue and earnings”, the letter said.

Last month PeopleSoft forecast a current quarter revenue of US$625m to US$635m and earnings per share of between 17 and 18 cents, compared with analysts’ expectations of revenues of US$641.5m and earnings per share of at least 18 cents.

“By rejecting our offer, PeopleSoft’s directors have sought to deny you – the true owners of PeopleSoft – the opportunity to sell your shares to Oracle for a substantial premium in an all-cash offer”, the letter said.

Ellison urged shareholders to tender their shares before the 12 March deadline and also vote to back Oracle’s proposal to increase the size of the PeopleSoft board to nine and elect five board candidates nominated by Oracle.

The vote outcomes will be decided at the annual PeopleSoft shareholder meeting that will take place on 25 March.

By John Kennedy