The letter, which PeopleSoft began mailing Friday, was accompanied by a proxy card for casting votes in PeopleSoft's board election before the company's March 25 annual shareholder meeting.
"We firmly believe that Oracle'sof PeopleSoft's board is exclusively to advance its own agenda and does not further your interests as a PeopleSoft stockholder," the letter reads.
PeopleSoft's board hasfrom Oracle over the past eight months. The third one, an all-cash $26-a-share offer, offers a modest premium on PeopleSoft shares, which closed on Friday at $22.20. Oracle has said that bid is its final offer.
Defending the rejection of the offer,states in the letter that PeopleSoft has delivered strong financial results, "despite nearly three quarters of what we believe is Oracle's attempt to disrupt our business and damage your investment in PeopleSoft." In the letter, he promises "significant license revenue growth in the coming year" and an increase in earnings per share of more than 40 percent this year. In addition, Citigroup Global Markets and Goldman Sachs agreed that the $26 bid undervalues the company, the letter states.
"Don't underestimate the significant additional value PeopleSoft can create, once the disruption from Oracle's hostile activities has ended," Conway states.
Conway also defends the antitakeover measures his management team has adopted to protect itself from an Oracle. One is a money-back guarantee program that has created more than $1.5 billion in liabilities for any company that were to acquire the Pleasanton, Calif., software maker. A group of PeopleSoft shareholders.
"This program was developed to help protect and create shareholder value by giving customers signing new contracts confidence that their investments in PeopleSoft products will be protected," the letter says.
Oracle mailed itsto PeopleSoft shareholders last week, accusing PeopleSoft's managers of disregarding shareholder interests in order to "enrich themselves at your expense."
Oracle, which launched its tender offer last June, has proposed that PeopleSoft's eight-seat boardand has nominated five candidates to fill the new seat and the four that are up re-election. Conway is one of the directors whose term is expiring.
The outcome of the proxy battle for PeopleSoft's board will be influenced in large part by on how the U.S. Department of Justice views Oracle's bid. The agency's staff hason the grounds that it's anticompetitive. PeopleSoft expects a final decision by Assistant Attorney General Hewitt Pate by March 2.