Oracle finalises PeopleSoft takeover for £5.4bn

Oracle has finally reached a deal to buy rival software maker PeopleSoft for $10.3bn (£5.4bn), after a protracted 18-month legal battle.

Oracle increased its offer by $2.50 (£1.30) per share to $26.50 (£13.80) per share on Friday, and the sale has now been approved by both sides. The deal, which will create one of the largest providers of HR software in the world, should be formally completed by early January.

Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison said: “Today we announce the agreement to acquire PeopleSoft. This merger gives Oracle even more scale and momentum.”

In an attempt to counter fears that Oracle will not invest in PeopleSoft products and those of subsidiary JD Edwards, Ellison said the merger will increase the company’s ability to invest more in applications development and support.

“We intend to enhance PeopleSoft 8 and develop a PeopleSoft 9 and enhance a JD Edwards 5 and develop a JD Edwards 6,” he said. “We intend to immediately extend and improve support for existing JD Edwards and PeopleSoft customers worldwide.”

George Battle, chairman of PeopleSoft’s transaction committee, said: “This has been a long, emotional struggle, and our employees have consistently performed well under the most challenging of circumstances.

“After careful consideration, we believe this revised offer provides good value for PeopleSoft stockholders and represents a substantial increase in value from October.”

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