Ellison to Conway: Lets Meet

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-06-09 Print this article Print

Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison early Monday afternoon sent a letter urging PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway to avoid jamming up Oracle's hostile takeover move with "frivolous litigation."

Oracle Corp. Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison early Monday afternoon sent a letter urging PeopleSoft Inc. CEO Craig Conway to avoid jamming up Oracles hostile takeover move with "frivolous litigation." It has been widely reported that litigation is what Conway has in mind to block Oracles bid—a $5.1 billion cash tender offer that was announced on Friday. "This matter will ultimately be decided by the PeopleSoft stockholders based on the merits and not by frivolous litigation," Ellison wrote. "I reaffirm our request that you redeem your poison pill to enable stockholders to act on our offer, and I expect that the board will not take any further action that would interfere with the rights of PeopleSoft stockholders to determine the outcome of this process." Ellisons reference to a "poison pill" pertains to PeopleSofts shareholder rights plan, which would cut the legs out from under hostile bidders by making share prices prohibitively expensive.
In his letter, Ellison said that Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., had commenced a tender offer for PeopleSoft on Monday morning. Ellison reiterated a request to meet with Conway and the PeopleSoft to talk it over. "We believe that our offer provides full and fair value to PeopleSoft stockholders and a compelling future for PeopleSoft customers," the letter reads. "I am reaffirming our request to meet with you and your board to discuss our offer further.
Ellison defended his bid for PeopleSoft in the face of charges that the takeover bid is in actuality a monkeywrench thrown in to skewer PeopleSofts recently announced bid for J.D. Edwards. "Your press release, quotes attributed to you in the press, and a notice we just received with respect to your intention to commence litigation against us raise the concern that you have taken a negative position with respect to the merits and motivations behind our offer before you and the PeopleSoft board have taken the time required to consider the offer," Ellison said. "We have made a serious, fully financed, all-cash offer to your stockholders, and your fiduciary duties to those stockholders require a full and fair review done in good faith." Stay tuned to eWEEK.com for new developments in this breaking story.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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