PeopleSoft urges rejection of latest Oracle offer

PeopleSoft to Oracle: Buzz off, again.

The board of PeopleSoft Inc. today urged shareholders to reject the latest overture from Oracle Corp., a $21-a-share-offer made almost two weeks ago.

"The reduced offer is inadequate and does not reflect PeopleSoft's real value," the board said in a statement, adding it believes "there is a significant likelihood that the transaction will be prohibited under antitrust law."

The enterprise software company, based in Pleasanton, Calif., has been in the sights of Oracle for nearly a year.

Oracle first proposed a $26 a share takeover last June and has changed its bid three times, dropping it to $21 a share, or $7.7 billion, May 14. Oracle said the changes mirror a drop in PeopleSoft's stock that has been hurt, analysts say, by the sluggish marketplace for high-end business software and overall uncertainty raised by the hostile bid.

The federal government is suing to block Oracle's acquisition, arguing that it would violate antitrust laws. The companies are among the world's top five business enterprise application sellers.

Oracle has vowed to press on.

In late day trading, shares of both companies were off less than 1 percent.

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