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Mergers & Acquisitions: Article

Ellison Announces "There Will Be Job Losses"

As Oracle Gets PeopleSoft At Long Last - For $10.3 Billion

(December 13, 2004   9:18 AM) Speaking on CNBC, Larry Ellison this morning conceded what everyone in Silicon Valley had been fearing, in the wake of a successful bid by Oracle for PeopleSoft: "There will be some job losses at PeopleSoft and there will be some job losses at Oracle."

He was speaking after announcing, prior to the opening of the markets in New York, that PeopleSoft's board over the weekend have now agreed that Oracle can acquire 100% of PeopleSoft's stock at a price of $26.50, up from the $24 offer which Oracle had until today always maintained was its "best and final" offer.

In the acquisition agreement thrashed out over the weekend, Oracle and PeopleSoft have agreed to drop legal actions against each other. As to the $2.50 increase, the chairman of PeopleSoft's transaction committee, George "Skip" Battle, commented: "We believe this revised offer provides good value for PeopleSoft stockholders and represents a substantial increase in value from October."

"Today we announced both a great quarter and the agreement to acquire PeopleSoft. This merger gives Oracle even more scale and momentum," said Ellison.

In his CNBC interview Oracle's co-founder and CEO said:

"We just had a great quarter, where the Oracle standalone application business grew 57%, profits were up 32%, earnings per share up 35%, and this PeopleSoft acquisition is going to make our business even stronger."

Asked whether he ever thought the whole hostile takeover of PeopleSoft would have taken so very long - 18 months, from start to today's finish - he said: "Never in my wildest imagination."

Explaining the $2.50 jump in what Oracle is now going to be paying, compared to its "best and final" offer of $24 all through October/November, Ellison explained:

"We were making a lot of assumptions about their business. We didn't have actual information about their business until we were in direct negotiation with PeopleSoft [at the weekend]. As we took a look at their maintenance frame, and how much they were spending and what their revenue actually was, it turns out that that business was even more profitable than we thought."
"It's a good deal for the Oracle shareholders, and we think it's a good deal for the PeopleSoft customers," he added.

The CNBC interviewer asked Ellison why he felt so strongly about PeopleSoft, why he felt he needed to hang on so long, challenge the US government in court, and so on.

"We think it's essential for constructing our applications business," Ellison replied without hestitation.

"We've doubled the number of customers we have in the applications business," he continued. "We're going to increase our sales capacity by 50%, we're going to have a closer relationship with IBM Global Services, and Accenture and EDS, selling applications."

"This makes us a very, very strong No. 2 in the global applications business, and in makes us No. 1 in the United States."

"It makes us No.1 in retail banking and healthcare and governments. This dramatically improved our competitive position and our market share position in our applications business. It will make us a more profitable and stronger company."

It's hard to argue with a man who has just pulled off a ten-billion dollar, hostile takeover.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
There Will Be Job Lossest 01/17/05 06:13:57 AM EST

Well I supopose at least everyone reading this site was forewarned!

D 12/28/04 08:13:27 PM EST

Great. Now will you please buy the 49ers?

itdontlookgoodfromhere 12/19/04 10:33:13 AM EST

Congratulations, Larry, you got what you wanted.

LE: Yep, we prevailed in the end. If this hadn't happened, we would have tried to invalidate their poison pill. The gall of them to have one!

Don't you have one, too?

LE: Of course, but that's different. I'm King of the World and no rules apply to me. By the way, did you see the way Duffield lied long and hard to his employees and they actually bought it? Hilarious.

Kind of like your shareholders believing your statement that $24 was your best and final offer?

LE: Yeah, but everyone already knows my ethics. If I didn't lie it would probably shock the market. Wouldn't want that.

What happens now to the PSoft employees?

LE: For PR reasons, we want to make sure everyone knows that all PSoft employees will have choices.

What choices?

LE: The choice of working their ass off the next few months and probably being fired or not working their ass of and certainly being fired. Sounds like a choice to me.

Won't you need developers + maintenance folks?

LE: Well, the only profitable piece of PSoft is JDE World. That's because the software and hardware platform in inherently stable and it doesn't take many folks in India to maintain it. That's the model we'll work toward for the old One World product and the current PSoft product. We pay 1.10/hr in India for developers. If the developers here were interested in staying on, heck, we might pay that double that! See, more choices.

What about the statement about supporting the

LE: Well, we don't want that fat maintenance stream to dry up. Remember, it's the only thing that kept PSoft above water. So, we'll do what we need to do to keep the dupes paying 18% per year for practically nothing.

And functional enhancements?

LE: I said enhancements but not what kind. We plan to enhance the software by fixing all the existing bugs&well, most of the existing bugs&well, enough bugs to show that something happened.

And that's enhancement?

LE: Sure. When you go from software with a lot of bugs to software with fewer bugs, it's been enhanced, right? Plus, if the developers have time between bug reports, they'll work on some minor functional stuff.

How about major releases for the JDE and Peoplesoft products?

LE: Beyond what's currently being worked on, the next JDE release, code name "Pigs Fly," and the followup Peoplesoft release, internally known as "Hell Freezes Over," don't have specific dates on them.

How long will integration take?

LE: Total integration will take as long as it takes to unwind PSoft real estate commitments. Partial integration (i.e. wholesale slashing) will start sooner.

Do you see any side benefits to the deal?

LE: I expect that there will be a rush of business for Pleasanton real estate agents. See, we're giving back to the community.

fletch 12/14/04 08:22:22 AM EST

Larry is a God in DBs. Consistently Oracle has shown they just don't get anything else unless you only buy Oracle. App Servers etc. Maybe I'm missing something but this is a big yawn. Peoplesoft has a good HR Product so maybe they complete with SAP better. Market growing? don't think so. SQL Server and Open Source are a bigger threat. Larry has too much time on his hands and too big an ego.

eastbaydesigner 12/14/04 07:13:16 AM EST

Oracle wins no matter how you look at it. Like Larry said, they got the engineering and programming. I believe to get the PeopleSoft engineers, programmers and developers was the main reason for the takeover. Of course, they also got the product, the applications and the customers that go with it. And the PeopleSoft complex in Pleasanton. Anyone know how much that is worth? Real estate is extremely expensive out here, especially Pleasanton.

Vengeance is mine! 12/14/04 06:21:33 AM EST

At laaaaast -- You're a fool! I won't reward evil and that includes Ellison. He started Oracle on deceit and deceit he shall have! Reap the wind, sow the whirlwind. Merry CHRIST-mas heathens!

Charisse Sebastian 12/13/04 11:08:48 PM EST

Let me see if I have this correctly, Larry Ellison spends 10B and 18 months worth of effort to nuetralize a competitor yet claims he has to outsource jobs to India cut costs/maintain profits. Can we all spell "sleaze?"

David 12/13/04 08:13:34 PM EST

Too bad the page to view this story was marred by a big Oracle advertisement that sits in the middle of the page! For those who insist on using inferior technology, I'm sure Oracle and Peoplesoft together will be a big winner. Go PostgreSQL!

Makes Sense 12/13/04 07:12:01 PM EST

A move that Oracle had to make given the present business climate. The future is in the applications that use the tools not just the tools themselves.
With the front line application and the data mangement pieces in place, the next thing Larry should do is buy BEA for a decent web platform to run the applications on.

appBizzzz 12/13/04 01:10:49 PM EST

So in one move Oracle becomes the largest applications business in the USA...and No. 2 in the whole world. Nice deal, I'd say. Go Larry!!!

lucabrassi999 12/13/04 12:55:01 PM EST

This is just a guess on my part, but my gut feeling is that if you are a developer or software engineer working for PeopleSoft, you will be retained. If you are a PeopleSoft salesperson or a help desk employee, you better start looking for work.

Again, I am just guessing, since I am not an employee of either Oracle or PeopleSoft. I am basing my guess on what usually happens when IT companies merge. The developers and engineers are retained, the support personnel are laid off

At laaaaast 12/13/04 11:01:02 AM EST

>>>"Today we announced both a great quarter and the agreement to acquire PeopleSoft. This merger gives Oracle even more scale and momentum.">>>

Ellison IS a god, and that what's-the-difference joke isn't so far from the truth any more, then one that ends "God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison"