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Oracle extends PeopleSoft bid, again

The database maker postpones to mid-October its deadline for tendering shares in its hostile $7.25 billion bid for PeopleSoft, its fourth such extension.

Oracle announced on Thursday that it has extended to mid-October its deadline for tendering shares in its hostile $7.25 billion bid for PeopleSoft.

Oracle pushed its tender offer deadline to midnight on Oct. 17 following a presentation by PeopleSoft management to Wall Street analysts Thursday detailing the anticipated financial benefits of its merger with J.D. Edwards.

"PeopleSoft's plan means confusion and execution risk for customers and shareholders," said Jim Finn, Oracle spokesman, in a statement. "Oracle believes that its fully financed, all-cash offer for PeopleSoft represents the better plan for PeopleSoft shareholders and customers. We remain fully committed to our offer."

Yet Oracle may need to offer more than just additional time to persuade PeopleSoft shareholders to tender their shares. With PeopleSoft's stock closing at $19.35 a share Thursday, Oracle's $19.50 per share bid doesn't represent much of a premium on the current value of the stock.

Oracle's new deadline was largely expected, as federal antitrust regulators have yet to issue a decision on whether to challenge Oracle's buyout bid. Oracle expects a final decision in late October or November.

The October deadline is the fourth extension Oracle has announced since it launched its hostile bid for PeopleSoft in early June. But it is not uncommon to see such deadlines pushed back in a hostile bid, as acquiring companies try to collect more than 50 percent of outstanding shares of the target companies, proxy solicitors said.

Oracle had previously set a Sept. 19 deadline for PeopleSoft investors to tender their shares.

PeopleSoft Chief Executive Craig Conway told CNET News.com last week that he no longer takes Oracle's bid seriously. "You can extend the offer every 30 days until the end of time," Conway said. "The saga is over. I don't spend any time on it anymore."

CNET News.com's Dawn Kawamoto contributed to this report