Oracle Bids Against SAP for Retek

Oracle offers $9 a share after SAP AG's announcement that it would acquire the retail software developer for $8.50 a share. Larry Ellison says Oracle's acquisition would make sense and that it's important to defend the company's position.

Just when it seemed like the ERP (enterprise resource planning) market was calming down after Oracle Corp.s successful coup of PeopleSoft Inc., Oracle is at it again.

The company announced late Tuesday afternoon its intent to acquire, for $9 a share, retail software developer Retek Inc.—a company that SAP AG announced last week it would acquire for $8.50 a share, or about $496 million in cash.

Oracle officials said the company has been in discussions with Retek since last October and had planned to acquire the company at some point, but became distracted with the PeopleSoft acquisition.

SAP officials were not available for comment.

Retek, based in Minneapolis, Minn., is largely considered the leader in its industry.

The company develops software that enables automation from the point of purchase through the retail supply chain, and supports retailer activities such as merchandise operations management, supply chain management and merchandise planning and optimization.

Once SAP announced its intent to acquire Retek on Feb. 28—a sale that was expected to be complete in April based on shareholder and regulatory approvals—Oracle started buying the companys stock.

To date, it has acquired 5.5 million shares, or 10 percent of Reteks shares.

"We evaluated SAPs bid to acquire Retek carefully ever since it became public and we decided we were going to make a bid," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison during a press conference held Tuesday.

"We are the largest [vendor in North America], and we intend to defend that. We have over 2,300 users in North America—quite a bit larger than SAPs—and we think its important to defend that position."

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead more here about Ellison telling SAP to watch its step in its competitive techniques.

Ellison said Oracles acquisition of Retek makes sense because the two companies have been partners for over a decade and have many customers in common.

Next Page: Oracles past with Retek.