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Oracle Gets PeopleSoft, At Last

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has sealed the deal. After an 18-month battle, Oracle will acquire application vendor PeopleSoft Inc. for approximately $10.3 billion, the two companies said Monday morning.

The breakthrough came when Oracle sweetened its "best and final" $24-per-share offer to $26.50. The sale has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is expected to close by early January. Oracle and PeopleSoft combined will become the world's second-largest enterprise application maker after SAP.

Oracle also reported the results of its second fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30. Revenue grew 10% to $2.76 billion, including a 14% jump in new software license sales to $971 million, led by a 57% increase in new applications sales. Net income grew 32% to $815 million, or 16 cents per share. The financial results weren't scheduled to be announced until Dec. 16.

"Today we announced both a great quarter and the agreement to acquire PeopleSoft. This merger gives Oracle even more scale and momentum," Ellison said in a statement, particularly noting the second-quarter growth in Oracle's applications business.

"This merger works because we will have more customers, which increases our ability to invest more in applications development and support," Ellison said in the statement. He said Oracle will continue to enhance PeopleSoft 8, the current release of PeopleSoft's application suite, and develop PeopleSoft 9, the version that PeopleSoft has under development.

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