Oracle extends PeopleSoft offer

Oracle Corp. has extended a buyout offer to PeopleSoft Inc. shareholders until midnight Sept. 19.

The move extends a drama that has been playing out since June 9, when Oracle first floated a bid for PeopleSoft. The company is currently offering to buy its competitor for $19.50 a share.

"We remain fully committed to acquiring PeopleSoft," said Oracle spokesman Jim Finn in the Aug. 9 announcement of the offer extension. The total offer exceeds $6 billion.

The bid has sparked expected antitrust scrutiny, and PeopleSoft users fear they might have to migrate to Oracle software. Oracle officials have pledged to support PeopleSoft products for at least 10 years, although they have also said they would no longer actively market it if the takeover effort succeeds.

Many government agencies use PeopleSoft for back-office software and Oracle for database functions. Oracle has been trying to boost its nondatabase business since the mid-1990s, when it first introduced applications that compete with offerings from companies such as PeopleSoft and SAP.

PeopleSoft's board has recommended shareholders rebuff Oracle's offer, but the fate of the company ultimately lies in the hands of its investors. Most of them aren't biting so far — Oracle said that as of Aug. 8, tenders from PeopleSoft shareholders have totaled 37.7 million, or barely 10 percent of the PeopleSoft's shares outstanding.

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