Oracle continues PeopleSoft bid

Oracle Corp. would buy PeopleSoft even if PeopleSoft completes its acquisition of J.D. Edwards and Co., company officials said.

and Co., Oracle officials said. The announcement marked the latest move in Oracle's ongoing hostile takeover bid.

PeopleSoft's acquisition of Edwards was already under way when Oracle launched its bid early this month. PeopleSoft executives have characterized Oracle's bid as "bad behavior," and the company's board voted to reject Oracle's initial offer of $16 a share. Oracle soon increased the offer to $19.50 a share, or about $6 billion total.

PeopleSoft's board has voted twice to recommend that shareholders reject the offers, once at each price level. The board cites anti-trust issues

"Oracle's offer undervalues the company and is not in the best interest of PeopleSoft stockholders," said PeopleSoft president and chief executive officer Craig Conway in a statement. "It is highly conditional, faces significant regulatory delays and uncertainty, and threatens serious damage to our business."

In an open letter to PeopleSoft customers, Oracle promised not to shut down PeopleSoft applications or force customers to migrate to its e-business suite. "Don't be a victim of scare tactics," reads the letter, which is posted on Oracle's Web site. "We would not offer more than $6 billion in cash unless we really wanted you to be our customers."

In the letter, Oracle also promised to "develop and improve PeopleSoft's products for at least the next 10 years — even longer, if customers require further support.

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