Oracle still trying to sew up PeopleSoft deal

It narrowly missed the number of shares it needed for a speedy merger

Oracle Corp. said late yesterday 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% of PeopleSoft's shares had been tendered in favor of the deal. By late yesterday, when its latest offer had been set to expire, Oracle's stake had increased to 89.4%, with 357.7 million shares tendered, it said in a statement.

But Oracle needs 90% 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 that it has extended its tender offer to 8 p.m. EST tomorrow.

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.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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