Ellison urges PeopleSoft to give him a fair hearing

Oracle chairman and chief executive officer, Larry Ellison, has asked to be allowed to talk to the board and shareholders of PeopleSoft.

In a letter to PeopleSoft’s CEO, Craig Conway, Ellison said he wanted to discuss further Oracle’s $US16 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.”

He 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 $US5.1 billion cash offer, an offer that has also been criticised by executives at J.D. Edwards which PeopleSoft agreed to acquire last week for $US1.7 billion in stock.

Ellison said that 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.”

Timeline

Monday June 2: PeopleSoft announces intention to buy J. D. Edwards for $14.10 per share, valuing the company at $1.7 billion.

Friday June 6: Oracle launches $16 per share bid for PeopleSoft, valuing the company at $5.1 billion; PeopleSoft blasts Oracle bid, saying its intention is to disrupt PeopleSoft’s acquisition of J. D. Edwards.

Monday June 9: J.D. Edwards confirms intention to merge with PeopleSoft, criticises Oracle bid; Oracle requests hearing with PeopleSoft board. n

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