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By  Peter Branton Published  June 14, 2007

January 2005

PeopleSoft. The one that started it all. When Larry Ellison announced his bid to buy PeopleSoft in June 2003 for US$7.25billion, it was widely assumed that it was a spoiler move to stop the latter's own pursuit of JD Edwards from succeeding. PeopleSoft did in fact complete the acquisition of JD Edwards during the 18-month bitter battle that followed; however CEO Craig Conway (formerly at Oracle) was fired in October 2004, paving the way for Oracle's improved US$10.4billion bid to be accepted two months later.

April 2005

Retek. A firm that few people had heard of previously was a headline name when Oracle and SAP entered into a bidding war to capture it: while SAP initially offered US$496million for the retail specialist in February 2005, Oracle trumped it with a US$650million bid the following month. Ellison said he did so to maintain Oracle's leadership position in the US applications space.

January 2006

Siebel Systems. Tom Siebel founded the eponymous company in 1993, having quit Oracle in a dispute with Ellison of the merits of customer relationship management (CRM) software. With Siebel established as the market leader for CRM software, Ellison decided it was worth capturing, announcing plans in September 2005 to buy it for US$5.8billion.

April 2006

Portal Software. A comparatively small deal by Oracle's standards, Ellison has highlighted the US$220million capture of telecommunications specialist Portal as an example of how Oracle will take on SAP. Portal's billing and revenue management software are seen as more strategic to telecom customers than traditional ERP; allowing Oracle to have greater access to the CEO.

March 2007

Hyperion. Oracle's largest acquisition in the middleware space, at US$3.3billion, Hyperion is a key player in business intelligence (BI) and performance management software. When Oracle announced its plans to buy Hyperion in February this year, president Charles Phillips pointed out that it meant that thousands of SAP customers would use Oracle software to analyse their SAP ERP data.

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