JD Edwards sues Oracle for US$1.7bn


13 Jun 2003

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In a new twist to the high drama being played out in the boardrooms of the world’s biggest enterprise software vendors, JD Edwards is now suing Oracle. It is claiming that Oracle illegally interfered in its proposed merger with PeopleSoft.

Almost two weeks ago, PeopleSoft revealed that it was planning to acquire JD Edwards in a stock deal worth US$1.7 billion. However, last Friday, Oracle entered the fray with an audacious proposal to acquire PeopleSoft for US $5.1 billion.

Yesterday, PeopleSoft boss Craig Conway rejected Oracle’s offer, claiming it was “a transparent attempt to disrupt the acquisition of JD Edwards by PeopleSoft”.

Last night, it emerged that JD Edwards has filed a lawsuit in a Colorado courtroom alleging that Oracle “tortiously interfered” with the deal. It is seeking US$1.7 billion in compensatory damages and an unspecified amount in punitive damages.

JD Edwards is also suing Oracle in a California court against Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and its vice president Chuck Philips, charging them with unfair business practices and seeking an injunction to prevent Oracle from proceeding to acquire PeopleSoft.

In a statement, JD Edwards’ CEO Bob Dutkowsky said: “Oracle’s sole aim is to disrupt a merger that will create value for the key stakeholders of JD Edwards and PeopleSoft.

“Oracle’s unsolicited offer for PeopleSoft will only destroy value for our companies’ shareholders, customers and employees and the technology community overall. We will not sit idly by while Oracle pursues this arrogant, unlawful and destructive course of action.”

By John Kennedy