PeopleSoft Extends Customer Assurance Program

PeopleSoft, which Monday amended its program to refund customers in the event of an acquisition, is extending the program until Dec. 31.

After yet another change in its Customer Assurance Program on Monday, PeopleSoft Inc. said today it would extend the program until Dec. 31.

PeopleSoft amended its assurance program on Monday with a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amendment stipulates that a change in PeopleSofts board of directors that results in an acquisition would jump-start the program and refund payments to customers—a sharp contrast to the earlier program, which said that a majority change in PeopleSofts board would result in refunds.

The Customer Assurance Program looks to refund customers between two and five times their license fee in the event PeopleSoft is acquired and the acquiring company discontinues support of PeopleSofts e-business software.

PeopleSoft has been under fire from rival Oracle Corp., which lobbed a hostile takeover bid at the company in June.

In the face of a potential takeover and customers potential reluctance to purchase software, PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., instituted the Customer Assurance Program in June. An upgrade in October upped the ante to include an extended payout should the company be acquired.

According to the SEC document, the program could cost Oracle about $807 million in potential liabilities, should it acquire PeopleSoft and discontinue support of its software.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., filed an amendment to an earlier lawsuit against PeopleSoft, asking the Delaware Chancery Court to stop the Customer Assurance Program, stating it makes the deal prohibitively expensive.

Oracles initial lawsuit, filed this summer, looks to stop PeopleSofts poison pill anti-takeover measure. That case is still pending.

Oracles tender offer for PeopleSoft expires Dec. 31.

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