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Oracle Spends $900M for i-flex Stake

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) has bought a majority interest in Indian banking software specialist i-flex solutions, a deal that represents a shift in the companys expansion strategy (see Oracle Buys i-flex, Oracle Completes ProfitLogic Acquisition, and What's Next on Oracle's Hit List?).

Under the terms of the deal, Oracle will acquire Citigroup’s 41 percent stake in i-flex for $593 million. In accordance with Indian law, Oracle will also make an offer to purchase an additional 20 percent of outstanding shares from shareholders, which could bring the value of the deal up to $909 million.

The move represents a change in tack for Oracle, which last year fought an 18-month war of attrition to get its hands on PeopleSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: PSFT). (See Oracle Takes Control of PeopleSoft, Oracle & PeopleSoft: The Final Round, and PeopleSoft Plot Thickens.)

But swallowing a company of PeopleSoft’s size is easier said than done, and Oracle CFO Greg Maffei recently admitted that the vendor is now focused on M&A in specific industry verticals (see Oracle's on the Prowl).

Whereas Oracle had to address layoffs and customer support concerns with the PeopleSoft acquisition, i-flex is a more of a bite-sized morsel (see Oracle Announces Job Cuts and PeopleSoft Posse Still Peeved)

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