With regards to PeopleSofts attempt to merge with Denver-based J.D. Edwards, the two companies on Monday announced that they have amended their merger agreement in order to speed it up. The boards of both companies unanimously approved the amendment and hope to get the deal finalized in the third quarter. The central change is offering J.D. Edwards shareholders some cash in addition to PeopleSoft stock, instead of the all-stock deal that was originally proposed. The revised deal offers J.D. Edwards shareholders $7.05 per share plus a little less than half of one PeopleSoft share for each J.D. Edwards share. This raises the total value of the deal to $1.75 billion, up from about $1.7 billion.The amended agreement reaffirms PeopleSofts and J.D. Edwards commitment to merge, saying that the combination is a "clear win for stockholders, customers and employees." "We believe what were doing is accelerating, for the benefit of shareholders, the closing and minimizing customer uncertainty, and protecting and enhancing shareholder value," said Steve Swasey, director of corporate public relations for PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif. PeopleSoft updated previous estimates of what would come of the merger. Company officials now say that opportunities to improve operating efficiencies, reduce expenses and enhance sales are expected to provide cost savings between $150 million and $200 million in 2004. Those savings would come from efficiencies in the companys consulting and sales organizations, from cross-selling and upselling, and from weeding out redundant functions, headcount and facilities, officials said. PeopleSoft said in a release that it expects to commence the Exchange Offer shortly. Upon completion of the Exchange Offer, remaining J.D. Edwards shares would be acquired in a second-step merger. "Here they go again," Finn said, in a continuing battle of press releases. He called the accelerated PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards deal an attempt to take away shareholders opportunity to vote on the deal. This story was edited after its original posting to add more detail on the amended PeopleSoft/J.D. Edwards deal.
Under the amended offer, J.D. Edwards shareholders would own 14.3 percent of PeopleSoft after the merger is completed.