Oracle extends PeopleSoft deadline as take-up stalls

Oracle has again extended the deadline for PeopleSoft shareholders to accept its $US19.50 per share takeover offer. The extension now runs until October 17.

It comes as Oracle revealed that the take-up of its offer had effectively stalled over the past month. On August 8, Oracle reported that a total of 37,708,208 shares had been tendered by PeopleSoft shareholders. By the close of business on September 4, that figure had inched upward to 38,718,737, Oracle said.

But that number represents only slightly more than 10 per cent of PeopleSoft's shares, leaving Oracle nowhere near its majority control target. Oracle has previously said it would continue to extend the acceptance deadline until it reached its goal of acquiring a majority of PeopleSoft's outstanding shares.

"PeopleSoft's plan means confusion and execution risk for customers and shareholders," Oracle spokesman, Jim Finn, said.

"Oracle believes that its fully-financed, all-cash offer for PeopleSoft represents the better plan for PeopleSoft shareholders and customers. We remain fully committed to our offer."

PeopleSoft executives have begun to regard the Oracle bid as a dead issue and have been concentrating their energies on integrating PeopleSoft's products with those of J. D. Edwards & Co., which PeopleSoft acquired in July.