KUHN CAPITAL Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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What’s Up with Oracle?

October 14

While the press seems to have moved on, we were still curious. Months after Oracle’s June $7.3 billion hostile bid for PeopleSoft, what’s happening?

Apparently, the potential deal is just too big for the regulators to resist. According to internet.com, and USA Today, US Department of Justice lawyers have been seeking reports from PeopleSoft customers, and have assigned big-gun antitrust lawyer Steve Kent to the case. Pundits see these actions as DOJ preparation to thwart Oracle’s ambitions. They also believe that the DOJ will focus on how Oracle’s bid would or would not benefit the combined companies’ customers, though we’re in awe of any business analyst who can predict such matters with confidence.

Meanwhile, Forbes reports that Oracle is gamely plugging ahead by filing a request with the satraps at the European Commission for permission to proceed, and has extended its PeopleSoft tender offer from October 17 to December 31.

We’re not optimistic: time is the arch-enemy of deals, and when international arrays of bureaucrats line up on the other side, businesses don’t win. In addition, PeopleSoft’s stock price keeps rising, with the company’s $8.6 billion marketcap now exceeding the value of Oracles’ bid by nearly 18%.

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