Ellison urges PeopleSoft to give him a fair hearing

Oracle Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison has asked to be allowed to talk to the board and shareholders of PeopleSoft Inc., the software company for which Oracle made a hostile bid late last week. Ellison also asked PeopleSoft not to make good its threat to begin litigation against Oracle.

In a letter to PeopleSoft’s CEO Craig Conway, Ellison said he wanted to discuss further Oracle’s US$16 per share bid for PeopleSoft, which he described as offering “a compelling future” for PeopleSoft customers and “full and fair value to PeopleSoft stockholders.”

Ellison wrote that Conway’s duties to PeopleSoft shareholders “require a full and fair review (of Oracle’s offer) done in good faith.”

Ellison said that PeopleSoft’s intention to start litigation against Oracle was “frivolous” and urged that PeopleSoft abandon its poison pill defence against Oracle’s takeover bid.

PeopleSoft has angrily rejected Oracle’s US$5.1 billion cash offer, an offer that has also been criticized by executives at J.D. Edwards & Co., which PeopleSoft agreed to acquire last week for US$1.7 billion in stock. [Please see PeopleSoft announces plan to acquire J.D. Edwards, and J.D. Edwards CEO responds to Oracle’s bid for PeopleSoft.]

Ellison wrote he was concerned that “you (Conway) have taken a negative position with respect to the merits and motivations behind our offer before you and the PeopleSoft board have taken the time required to consider the offer.”