The plot thickened Monday in the enterprise software industrys high-stakes acquisition drama as Oracle Corp. sought to remove one of the barriers to its proposed $5 billion hostile takeover of enterprise software maker PeopleSoft Inc. At the same time J.D. Edwards & Co. Chief Executive Bob Dutkowsky called on PeopleSoft investors to shun Oracle in favor of a $1.7 billion acquisition of his company.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison early Monday afternoon sent a letter urging PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway to remove the "poison pill" that would likely derail any hostile takeover of the company.
Also on Monday, at Denver-based J.D. Edwards Quest Global User Conference in Denver today Dutkowsky made a pitch for PeopleSofts acquisition of his company saying it was better for PeopleSoft customers and investors.
"I believe an Oracle acquisition of PeopleSoft raises such serious anti-trust problems that it will result in months of investigation by the" U.S. Department of Justice and the European Unions antitrust investigators.
"I believe one or both agencies will block the deal," he said. "Oracles offer would remove one of the major competitors in this industry."
Dutkowsky also chided Oracle for the apparent speed with which it decided on making its bid for PeopleSoft.
"We did eight months of research [on the proposed PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards deal] and both boards thought it would be good," he said. "This was not done in a half-cocked way, but in a well-thought-out, well-planned way."
Dutkowsky replayed the benefits of a merger of his company and PeopleSoft that he and Conway trumpeted last week: complementary product lines and complementary market segments along with compatible corporate cultures.
"It is obvious that J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft can do more together than we could as separate companies," he said.