Oracle ups stakes in takeover bid

Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), ABN Amro and other lenders have also agreed to extend the 364-day, $5.1bn credit facility originally provided by CSFB to launch Oracle?s bid in June 2003.

According to Oracle?s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, it will be able to call on another $1.5bn for 364 days to help meet extra fees and expenses needed for any bid.

The vendor is waiting for a decision from the US Department of Justice following its anti-trust investigations into the bid. A decision on whether Oracle’s intentions are anti-competitive is expected early this year.

But, PeopleSoft’s share price continues to exceed Oracle’s initial offer and the renewed bid, with shares trading at around $24 (£12.95) as Accountancy Age went to press.

Datamonitor customer relationship management analyst Peter Ryan said: ‘I’m not surprised this has taken place. This [credit extension] proves Oracle is looking to get its hands on PeopleSoft.

‘This has been a clash of egos between Larry Ellison and Craig Conway. Ellison and Oracle don’t want to lose face in the business community.’

Even if Oracle gets control of its rival, the deal also requires the approval of the justice department and the European Commission. The commission revealed that a probe into the potential acquisition is set to take place and could take as long as four months to carry out, now an initial inquiry has been completed. It pointed out that this situation ?does not pre-judge the final outcome.’ Oracle has also lined up its own candidates for the impending elections of candidates to PeopleSoft’s board.

Andy Kellett, senior research analyst at Butler Group, said: ‘The longer this goes on, the more uncertainty it can create around PeopleSoft. Any takeover raises issues. But this one doesn?t seem to be the perfect fit.’

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