Oracle boss asks to be taken seriously

As far as Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, is concerned its time for PeopleSoft’s board to start taking him seriously. He wants to meet to discuss his company’s $5.1 billion for its rival and he wants them to cut out the “frivolous” stuff.

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By  Peter Branton Published  June 10, 2003

As far as Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, is concerned its time for PeopleSoft’s board to start taking him seriously. He wants to meet to discuss his company’s $5.1 billion for its rival and he wants them to cut out the “frivolous” stuff.

Ellison sent an open letter to counterpart Craig Conway, CEO of PeopleSoft, this week, reiterating his desire to discuss last Friday’s proposed takeover bid in greater detail. The tone of the letter left little doubt that Ellison is not in the mood to sweet-talk.

“Your press release, quotes attributed to you in the press, and a notice we just received with respect to your intention to commence litigation against us raise the concern that you have taken a negative position with respect to the merits and motivations behind our offer before you and PeopleSoft board have taken the time required to consider the offer,” he wrote. “We have made a serious, fully financed, all-cash offer to your stockholders, and your fiduciary duties require a full and fair review done in good faith.”

“This matter will ultimately be decided by the PeopleSoft stockholders based on the merits and not by frivolous litigation,” Ellison continued, adding that he expected the board not to take “any further action that would interfere with the rights of PeopleSoft stockholders to determine the outcome of this process.”

In a press release last week, PeopleSoft said it would honor its fiduciary duties by considering all offers made to it, regardless of intent, but at this stage it is recommending that its shareholders take no further action. However, the board’s feelings on the Oracle bid may be more accurately gauged by Conway’s description of it as “atrociously bad behaviour from a company with a history of atrociously bad behaviour.”

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