PeopleSoft board won't negotiate takeover with Oracle

PeopleSoft won't discuss a sale to Oracle for a price of US$24 per share, the company's board of directors Saturday told Oracle Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Larry Ellison in a letter.

The letter, sent to Ellison and Oracle Chairman Jeffrey Henley on Saturday and released by the company, reaffirms the opposition of PeopleSoft's board of directors to Oracle's plans to acquire PeopleSoft in a hostile takeover bid. The letter also put to an end Oracle hopes that a deal to acquire PeopleSoft could be finalized quickly in the aftermath of its most recent offer for the company.

Earlier on Saturday, Oracle announced that more than 60 percent of PeopleSoft's outstanding shares had been tendered in Oracle's US$24 per share cash offer by a midnight deadline on Friday.

Despite the large percentage of shares tendered in Oracle's offer, PeopleSoft's board showed no signs of yielding in its opposition to an Oracle takeover, saying the price being offered by Oracle was too low and that the majority of shareholders -- including shareholders that tendered their shares in Oracle's offer -- opposed a sale at that price.

"We would be willing to discuss an offer made by Oracle at an appropriate price -- but $24 is not that price," wrote A. George Battle, chairman of the transaction committee and a member of the board at PeopleSoft, in the letter.

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