PeopleSoft, Oracle mum on takeover

PeopleSoft, Oracle mum on takeover

ORACLE and PeopleSoft New Zealand were keeping quiet early this week following the failure of a US Department of Justice to block Oracle’s hostile bid to buy PeopleSoft.

Oracle and the DoJ had been locked in an antitrust lawsuit battle in the Northern California District Court since June after Oracle launched its bid for PeopleSoft last year. The court last week ruled in Oracle’s favour clearing its way to pursue the bid.

“This decision puts the onus squarely on the board of PeopleSoft to meet with us and to redeem their poison pill so that the shareholders can accept our offer,” says Oracle chairman Jeffrey Henley. Oracle’s current offer for the company is $US7.7 billion.

But reports from the US suggest that Oracle may have a “bitter pill” of its own to swallow as end-users, and PeopleSoft customers in particular, react negatively to its bullish behaviour.

The bid is unlikely to have had any negative impact on either Oracle or PeopleSoft locally, says IDC New Zealand manager Graeme Muller.

“In fact it may have had positive impacts on their brand awareness as both companies received more media time,” says Muller.

Local PeopleSoft customers may also have accelerated purchasing cycles to avoid being midway through a new implementation if the acquisition takes place, says Muller.

Appproaches to the two companies in New Zealand were referred to their respective US offices.

Meanwhile, Oracle’s court battles may not be over. The DoJ has 60 days to appeal the ruling, a review of the bid by the European Commission is also ongoing and PeopleSoft is bringing its own lawsuit, scheduled to go to trial in November, against the company claiming compensation for damages of over US$1 billion plus punitive damages.

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