Oracle Corp. announced late last night that its CEO Larry Ellison and Chairman and interim CFO Jeff Henley sent yet another letter to PeopleSoft Inc. shareholders urging them to tender their shares to Oracle and vote against PeopleSoft in its upcoming annual shareholders meeting.
PeopleSoft is in the midst of an increasingly viscous battle to fend off Oracles hostile takeover attempts, launched eight months ago at the start of summer.
In light of the takeover effort, there are two deadlines facing PeopleSoft shareholders: A March 2 decision by the Department of Justice regarding the anticompetitive nature of the proposed acquisition; and the March 25 annual shareholders meeting where voters will have the opportunity to vote in Oracles slate of nominees or stand by PeopleSofts current Board of Directors.
A vote cast in Oracles favor would remove PeopleSofts poison pill anti-takeover measure by shifting the board majority in Oracles favor, enabling Oracle to proceed unimpeded with its attempted coup.
Yesterdays letter to shareholders reiterated Oracles final offer of $26 per share and urged stakeholders to tender their shares and cast their votes.
“We strongly encourage you to protect and maximize your investment in PeopleSoft and to do everything within your power to ensure that this important transaction moves forward,” said Ellison and Henley in the letter.
This is not the first such missive Ellison and Henley have sent to PeopleSoft shareholders. On February 12 the duo sent a letter with two main themes: Tender Now and Send a Message to the PeopleSoft Board Today.
Oracle contends in both letters that by rejecting its latest offer—Oracle first offered $16 per share and later $19.50 per share—PeopleSofts directors are denying shareholders the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium.
PeopleSofts board has twice voted to reject Oracles offers and has repeatedly said the deal undervalues PeopleSofts current and future earnings potential.
Voters have until March 12 to tender shares, the date when Oracles offer expires.
Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., has twice extended its tender offer, first in July and later in October. Should the Justice Department give the deal the green light, Oracle will likely extend the offer a third time.
Earlier this month the staff of the Justice Departments Antitrust Division recommended to senior staff that they block the deal. It is now up to Assistant Attorney General R. Hewitt Pate to make the final call.