Oracle stands by PeopleSoft bid as shares tendered fall

Oracle sent out its holiday greetings to PeopleSoft last Friday in the form of a statement reaffirming its commitment to its hostile takeover bid. Oracle for the fifth time extended the deadline on its tender offer to PeopleSoft's shareholders.

Oracle's bid will now expire at midnight EST on Feb. 13, pushing back the bid's previous expiration date of Dec. 31. As of late Friday, about 12.4 million shares have been validly tendered into the offer, Oracle said. That total represents about 3 percent of PeopleSoft's about 375 million outstanding shares.

The number of shares tendered into Oracle's bid has eroded with each of the bid's recent extensions. As of Oct. 10, the company had about 24.8 million tendered shares, down from the about 43.8 million shares it had tendered on July 11, when it first pushed back its bid deadline.

The stockholders' "underwhelming response," to Oracle's bid shows that the offer "significantly undervalues" PeopleSoft and is not in the best interest of the company's stockholders, PeopleSoft said in a statement released on Friday.

Oracle launched its acquisition campaign against PeopleSoft in June, when it submitted to PeopleSoft's shareholders an unsolicited US$5.1 billion bid for control of the company. It has since raised its all-cash offer to $7.3 billion, or $19.50 per share. PeopleSoft's shares (PSFT) ended Friday trading on the Nasdaq exchange at $22.13.

The two companies, locked in lawsuits and an antagonistic battle of rhetoric against each other, are awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Justice on whether it will block the takeover attempt. The agency is conducting an extended review of the proposed deal. That review is not expected to conclude until early next year.

(Robert McMillan in San Francisco contributed to this report.)

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