PeopleSoft sweeteners may sour Oracle bid

Link: Oracle faces antitrust probe over PeopleSoft bid

In a filing to US financial authorities, it emerged that PeopleSoft has been persuading customers to sign deals by offering them rebates in the event of it being bought. The move is in response to Oracle’s aggressive takeover bid for PeopleSoft, which it is urging shareholders to reject.

PeopleSoft has offered rebates to customers between two and five times the value spent on software licences should dramatic changes occur within the running of the company. Acquisition, and the new owners either discontinuing software support or software development, are included.

The enterprise application vendor is caught up in a maelstrom of uncertainty, with a number of possible acquisitions on the horizon.

PeopleSoft would like to buy mid-market software maker JD Edwards. But rival Oracle is desperate to get its hands on PeopleSoft, or just ruin the JD Edwards deal, depending on which party you believe.

With the uncertainty over its future, PeopleSoft has been furiously trying to convince customers not to delay purchasing decisions.

Potentially, customers could adopt a wait and see approach to software buying. This could adversely affect PeopleSoft’s share price, making a takeover by Oracle more likely.

But PeopleSoft announced yesterday that it had performed better than expected in its current financial quarter.

‘Against all odds and odds makers, under the most challenging conditions a company can face, PeopleSoft not only met but significantly exceeded our original financial guidance,’ said Craig Conway, president and chief executive of PeopleSoft, in a statement.

Meanwhile, Oracle has extended its tender offer for shares of PeopleSoft until 18 July.

The database giant’s offer, worth $19.50 a share, was due to run out on 7 July. According to Oracle, nearly 11% of shareholders had already accepted this offer. PeopleSoft describe this response as ‘underwhelming’.

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