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Oracle Waves $6.66B At BEA

By: David Utter

Web middleware provider BEA has an all-cash offer on the table from Oracle for $6.66 billion, an acquisition that would put Oracle against IBM for the application server market.

Who says Larry Ellison of Oracle doesn't have a sense of humor? Oracle's bid for BEA, which one could view as 666 without the qualifying decimal point and dollar sign, arrived just ahead of Halloween.

The gist of Oracle's letter to BEA lays it all out: $17 per share for BEA, a 25 percent premium over BEA's October 11th close.

"We believe our all cash offer provides the best value for BEA's shareholders and the best home for BEA's employees and customers," said Oracle President Charles Phillips. "This proposal is the culmination of repeated conversations with BEA's management over the last several years."

Phillips also promised that existing BEA customers and products would be supported "for years to come." He cited Oracle's previous wallet-openings that brought PeopleSoft and Siebel among others into the Oracle corporate arcology, as examples of Oracle's continuing support commitment.

Stuart Williams, senior technology analyst with TBR's Software Business Quarterly, thinks the deal puts Oracle right in IBM's face for application server and middleware customers. He called the buy a "strong win" for Oracle.

"Oracle can integrate the BEA technology directly into the core of the Oracle stack, strengthening it, while at the same time removing a competitor and adding close to $1.4 billion in annual revenue to its coffers," said Williams.

About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for InternetFinancialNews and WebProNews covering technology and business.

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