Oracle’s i-flex offer

Ups bid for remaining shares in Indian firm

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By  Published  December 16, 2006

Oracle is looking to increase its stake in banking software and services provider i-flex Solutions to 90% ownership with a US$1.3billion investment.

The enterprise software giant already owns 55% of the Indian offshoring firm and its bid of US$47.14 per share on December 7, around US$1.3 billion, was a 42% increase on a previous offer.

In September Oracle offered to pay US$32.98 — around US$531million — to boost its holdings in i-flex to 75%. This month’s bid represented a 20% premium on i-flex’s share price at close of trading the same day on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claimed this was his company’s final offer and i-flex shareholders’ last chance to tender their shares to Oracle. The open offer will close on December 23.

“There will not be another open offer and Oracle will not undertake a delisting for at least the next five years unless i-flex shares are selling at a significantly lower price that they are today,” he warned in a statement.

“This is the last opportunity for i-flex shareholders to tender their shares to Oracle.”

Oracle has been forced to up its offer following limited interest from shareholders. The US firm may have been taken aback by this resistance being displayed to its overtures, however, analysts feel this increased offer should sway investors.

“The offer price is quite good to tempt any domestic shareholder,” SP Tulsian, an independent consultant, told Reuters.

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