The bid, currently worth a total $9.2bn (£4.99bn) at $24 per share, was again said to undervalue the company, according to a statement issued by PeopleSoft’s board of directors yesterday.
George ‘Skip’ Battle, chairman of the Transaction Committee, who advises the board, said: ‘We reiterated that, as members of the Board have testified in Delaware, we would be willing to discuss an offer made by Oracle at an appropriate price – but $24 isn’t it.’
But Battle’s reference to the US Department of Justice’s unsuccessful attempts to scupper the deal in a Delaware court earlier this year indicate PeopleSoft is willing to drive a better deal than the current one.
The company has maintained since Oracle launched its hostile takeover at the higher price of $26 per share last June, that the offer underestimated its value potential.
Battle continued: ‘We told Oracle that its price must reflect both PeopleSoft’s intrinsic value and the fact that PeopleSoft is materially more valuable to Oracle now than it was when Oracle made its inadequate $26 per share offer. Oracle indicated they understood our position and appreciated the call.’
The decision still leaves the company’s shareholders free to tender their shares for sale until 19 November, but it is likely that a proxy battle will ensue in which Oracle fights to gain control over more than half the board directors’ seats at PeopleSoft’s next annual meeting on 25 March.
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