Oracle still trying to sew up PeopleSoft deal

Oracle Corp. said late Tuesday that it has extended its tender offer for PeopleSoft Inc.'s outstanding shares by two days, after narrowly missing the volume of shares it requires to bring the merger to a speedy close.

Oracle already has enough PeopleSoft stock to give it control of the company. Last week, it said that approximately 75 percent of PeopleSoft's shares had been tendered in favor of the deal, and by Tuesday evening, when its latest offer had been set to expire, Oracle's stake had increased to 89.4 percent, with 357.7 million shares tendered, it said in a statement.

But Oracle needs 90 percent of the stock in order to close the deal expeditiously under applicable U.S. merger laws. Without that margin, the merger must be voted on by PeopleSoft shareholders. Oracle is the majority holder, but a vote would still delay the completion of the merger by four to six weeks.

As a result, Oracle announced late Tuesday that it has extended its tender offer to 8pm US Eastern Time on Thursday.

The company is hoping for a speedy close to the deal. It plans to make a webcast to customers, press and analysts on Jan. 18 to officially launch the merged company.

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