Oracle still on PeopleSoft trail

Oracle Corp. has once again extended its offer to PeopleSoft Inc. shareholders

With its quest to acquire the rival software maker now entering its fourth month, Oracle again stretched the deadline for PeopleSoft investors to tender their shares to Oracle for $19.50 a share, this time extending the deadline to Oct. 17. At that price, Oracle, whose offer originally was supposed to expire Sept. 19, would spend about $6 billion to buy its rival.

PeopleSoft, which recently completed its own acquisition of J.D. Edwards and Co., has a significant federal presence, with its government users including the State Department, the U.S. Mint, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Supreme Court. Thirteen cabinet-level agencies use PeopleSoft products, according to company officials.

After PeopleSoft completed the Edwards acquisition, chief executive officer Craig Conway said the company is no longer worried about Oracle's takeover effort.

"PeopleSoft's plan means confusion and execution risk for customers and shareholders," said Oracle spokesman Jim Finn. "Oracle believes that its fully-financed, all cash offer for PeopleSoft represents the better plan for PeopleSoft shareholders and customers. We remain fully committed to our offer."

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