July 24, 2003 5:27 PM PDT

Oracle confirms bid for bigger PeopleSoft

Oracle reaffirmed its bid to acquire PeopleSoft Thursday, following the successful completion of PeopleSoft's offer for J.D. Edwards last week that adds nearly $1 billion to the value of the deal.

Oracle's $19.50-per-share bid, revalued to include J.D. Edwards, now stands at $7.25 billion instead of $6.3 billion, according to a regulatory filing.

Oracle launched a surprise bid to acquire software rival PeopleSoft just days after PeopleSoft announced its plan to acquire J.D. Edwards last month, sparking one of the most closely watched software takeover battles ever. A contentious three-way legal and public relations battle has ensued, with PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards teaming against Oracle.

As part of its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Oracle also formally eliminated the condition requiring its consent to make changes to the $1.8 billion merger agreement between PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards. Oracle had already signaled last month that it would not object to PeopleSoft making changes to the J.D. Edwards offer.

Oracle said, however, that the filing doesn't alter its pending lawsuit against PeopleSoft, in which it hopes to amend its competitor's anti-takeover measure, otherwise known as a "poison pill." On Friday, the companies will also submit letters to the Delaware Chancery Court to propose how to proceed with the case.

Oracle originally said it preferred to buy PeopleSoft without J.D. Edwards. The addition of J.D. Edwards not only raises the price of PeopleSoft, but it could also raise an antitrust hurdle for Oracle, analysts have said. Oracle originally bid $5.1 billion for PeopleSoft but raised the bid to $6.3 billion after investors balked at the initial offer. The exchange offer period for the deal, which faces regulatory scrutiny, ends Aug. 15.

PeopleSoft expects to complete its acquisition of J.D. Edwards in August. All three companies compete in the business applications market, selling software designed to help businesses run their plants, manage their books and keep track of customers and employees.

CNET News.com's Dawn Kawamoto contributed to this report.

 

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