PeopleSoft finalises price for JD Edwards at $US1.8B

PeopleSoft finalises price for JD Edwards at $US1.8B

In the latest development in the Oracle/PeopleSoft buyout battle, PeopleSoft has announced the finalised price it will pay to shareholders to complete its planned merger with J.D. Edwards.

The business applications maker announced its intention to purchase rival J.D. Edwards last month in a friendly takeover, after which Oracle immediately made a hostile bid to buy out PeopleSoft.

On Wednesday, PeopleSoft announced that it would pay $US1.8 billion for the transaction. The original bid was for $US1.7 billion in an all-stock deal, but after Oracle entered the fray, PeopleSoft upped its bid to $US1.75 billion and added a cash component. J.D. Edwards shareholders will be free to take either cash or stocks as part of the deal, according to a statement posted on the PeopleSoft Web site.

Simultaneously, Oracle held an online question-and-answer session to try to woo PeopleSoft customers, who by and large have shown considerable reluctance to join the Oracle fold. The session was led by executive vice-president, Chuck Phillips, who is now in charge of the marketing operation at Oracle, following the abrupt departure of Mark Jarvis, the company's former chief marketing officer.

Phillips again sought to reassure PeopleSoft customers that Oracle would preserve their existing IT investments and would not force them to migrate to the Oracle E-Business Suite.

Given that it appears the J.D. Edwards deal will close before Oracle could swallow up PeopleSoft, Phillips also addressed some of his comments to J.D. Edwards users. Although Oracle had initially expressed ambivalence about the J.D. Edwards merger, Phillips said it will offer the same sort of support and maintenance for the J.D. Edwards suite as it would provide for PeopleSoft's.

Oracle has promised to support PeopleSoft's existing product lines for the next decade.

As for Jarvis' abrupt departure, Oracle confirmed that Jarvis had indeed resigned, although it wasn't revealed exactly when that happened.

According to a spokeswoman, Oracle CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison, made Jarvis' resignation public on Wednesday through an internal note delivered within the company.

Phillips will take over the marketing arm of the company as a permanent part of his responsibilities.

The spokeswoman said Jarvis resigned voluntarily as a "personal decision to take some time off."

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