Oracle said Friday it offered to buy BEA Systems for about $6.66 billion, its latest effort to up the ante against Microsoft and Germany's SAP in the fiercely competitive market for business software.
Oracle offered $17 per share in cash for BEA, which is a 25 percent premium over BEA's closing stock price on Thursday. Shares jumped in premarket trading to match the offer price.
"This proposal is the culmination of repeated conversations with BEA's management over the last several years," Oracle President Charles Phillips said. "We look forward to completing a friendly transaction as soon as possible."
BEA sells application server software and middleware, which is used by software developers to establish systems on which other applications operate. Its products are used in transaction processing, billing, customer service, provisioning and securities trading.
Oracle has spent the last several years buying up other specialty software makers in an effort to compete with Microsoft and SAP.
The proposed deal is Oracle's biggest since itfor about $6 billion in early 2006. Earlier this year it .