Oracle chucks a spanner in SAP’s Retek works

Oracle chucks a spanner in SAP’s Retek works

Although the ink is barely dry on Oracle’s aggressive takeover of PeopleSoft, the Californian software giant is already gearing up for a new acquisition stoush.

Oracle is now attempting to pluck Retek, a retail software specialist, from under SAP’s nose.

Last week, SAP agreed to buy retail software specialist Retek with a cash tender offer of US$8.5 per share. This values US-based Retek at almost US$500 million.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Oracle CEO Larry Ellison sent a letter to Retek’s board of directors with a cash tender offer of US$9 a share upping the company’s price tag to $525 million – potentially triggering a long-anticipated head-on confrontation between two of the world’s largest software empires.

Oracle says it purchased about 10 % of Retek’s outstanding stock earlier this week.

SAP says its initial bid for Retek was designed to plug holes in its product line allowing the German software company to offer its customers applications extending throughout the entire retail supply chain.

While Retek’s software doesn’t fit quite so snugly into Oracle’s application portfolio, it would act to further strengthen its overall application business. Moreover, Oracle and Retek have had a long-standing partnership with more than 80% of Retek customers running Oracle software. That such a purchase would severely disrupt SAP’s strategy would be just the icing on the cake.

If Oracle's bid succeeds, Retek’s products will be added to the company’s E-Business Suite portfolio.

At the time of SAP’s initial offer, Ian Black managing director of SAP New Zealand issued as statement saying the deal would “combine the strength of the two major players to provide a winning combination of software and services. It is too early for us to comment in detail on the implications for the channel in New Zealand, but we expect retail companies will value the deep industry focus and breadth of solution that SAP will deliver."

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