Oracle acquires BEA for US$8.5bn in cash

17 Jan 2008

Enterprise software giant Oracle has acquired middleware player BEA Systems for US$8.5bn in cash, strengthening Oracle’s position as one of the world’s largest business software vendors.

The board of directors of BEA Systems are understood to have unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close by mid-2008 and is subject to shareholder approval.

“The addition of BEA products and technology will significantly enhance and extend the Oracle Fusion middleware software suite,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

“Oracle Fusion middleware has an open ‘hot-pluggable’ architecture that allows customers the option of coupling BEA’s WebLogic Java Server to virtually all the components of the Fusion software suite.

“That’s just one example of how customers can choose among Oracle and BEA middleware products, knowing that those products will gracefully interoperate and be supported for years to come,” Ellison said last night.

Oracle president Charles Phillips described BEA as a pioneer in middleware and said both Oracle’s and BEA’s joint customers have been suggesting the acquisition for years.

“This transaction will accelerate the adoption of Java-based middleware technologies and SOA; advance innovation in enterprise applications infrastructure software; extend our strategic relationships with customers and partners; and increase our penetration in key regions like China,” Phillips explained.

BEA’s chairman and CEO Alfred Chuang said the company’s board of directors have been deliberating over the possible sale of the company for the past several months.

“This transaction is the culmination of that diligent and thoughtful process, and we believe it is in the best interests of our shareholders,” Chuang said. “I am confident our innovative products, talented employees and worldwide customer base will be key contributors to the success of the combined company over the long term.”

By John Kennedy