PeopleSoft rejects Oracle’s higher bid

PeopleSoft Inc.’s board of directors again rejected Oracle Corp.’s bid for the company Friday, and recommended that its shareholders also shoot down the US$6.3 billion offer, saying that the deal is not in the best interest of the company and would likely run afoul of antitrust laws.

The rejection comes just two days after Oracle sweetened its original US$5.1 billion offer for the Pleasanton, Calif., enterprise software provider, which sparked the firestorm between the two companies. Oracle’s initial bid, made June 6, came just days after PeopleSoft announced it was acquiring J.D. Edwards & Co., putting the merger in jeopardy.

Both PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards have sued Oracle over its aggressive pursuit, and Oracle shot back earlier this week, both increasing its offer for PeopleSoft and suing the company for “eliminating” shareholders’ ability to accept the offer.

PeopleSoft is now battling the proposed buyout on antitrust grounds, claiming that the deal “would face substantial regulatory delays” and would “likely be prohibited.”

Furthermore, the company said that “those delays and uncertainties, combined with Oracle’s stated intentions to discontinue PeopleSoft’s products, would subject PeopleSoft’s business to irreparable damage.”

Oracle responded to the latest rejection, saying in a statement Friday that “once again, PeopleSoft’s board has put management’s interests first, ignoring the mounting demands of its shareholders to redeem the poison pill and meet with Oracle.”