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Update: PeopleSoft rejects Oracle offer

PeopleSoft's board of directors is recommending that stockholders reject Oracle's $5.1 billion, $16 per share hostile takeover bid; in addition, the board said that PeopleSoft will proceed with its $1.7 billion acquisition of J.D. Edwards.

In a statement on the company's Web site, PeopleSoft said the Oracle offer not only undervalued the company and hurt PeopleSoft customers, but could face antitrust questions in the U.S. and Europe, which could prevent the buy from going through.

In a teleconference Thursday afternoon, PeopleSoft president and CEO (and former Oracle executive vice president) Craig Conway again underscored the hostile nature of the bid, and the negative effect he believes it would have on PeopleSoft customers.

"Oracle made it clear that their intention was to discontinue all PeopleSoft products, and ultimately force customers to convert to the Oracle applications, and in many cases the Oracle database," said Conway. "This would cost each organization millions, to literally tens of millions of dollars."

While declining to discuss specifics of how the company might fight the takeover, Conway said that PeopleSoft is ready for that fight.

"PeopleSoft was targeted by a hostile bid exactly because we have stronger products," he said. "The approach may cause a disruption of our business, but we have 8,000 people in this company whose single-minded purpose now is to ensure that there is minimal disruption of our business. We’re working closely with customers who are empathetic, sympathetic, surprised, incensed, and in some cases outraged."

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