Oracle again outbids SAP for Retek

Oracle increased its bid for Retek to $11.25 per share late on Thursday, again outbidding rival SAP.

Oracle increased its bid for Retek to US$11.25 per share late Thursday, again outbidding rival SAP in the tug-of-war for the retail software maker.

SAP upped its bid to $11 a share earlier Thursday, and Retek's board unanimously accepted the offer. Hours later, Oracle said it had further raised its bid. Oracle already owns 5.5 million Retek shares, close to 10 percent of the 56 million total outstanding shares, it said in a statement.

SAP announced a deal on Feb. 28 to acquire Minneapolis-based Retek for $8.50 per share. One week later, Oracle launched a $9-a-share bid. SAP's latest $11 bid offers Retek shareholders $616 million. Oracle is besting that with $630 million. On the last trading day before SAP launched its bid, Retek (RETK) shares closed at $6.

SAP said Thursday that the $11 bid was its best and final offer. Retek has never commented on Oracle's surprise bid.

SAP is still assessing Oracle's bid and expects to have more to say later Friday, said Frances Bell, an SAP spokeswoman. "They have only just made that higher bid and we're assessing the situation," she said.

Oracle is bidding on Retek to defend its position on the North American market, Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison said in a statement. Furthermore, Oracle's customers have asked the database and applications vendor to buy Retek, according to Ellison.

Retek sells software to retailers, including applications for operations management, supply chain planning and execution, merchandise planning, and product demand forecasting. It has more than 200 customers in 20 countries. Both Oracle and SAP want to break into the retail space.

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