BEA: The Price Ain't Right
If Oracle, as it said in a letter to BEA Systems’ board Tuesday, truly has no interest in a long, drawn-out process to acquire the company, it best reach a little deeper into its wallet.
BEA Systems said this morning it is willing to consider Oracle’s takeover agreement, or one put forth by another potential purchaser, but only if it is willing to pony up $21 a share, or $8.2 billion.
And it will “vigorously oppose” any purchase attempts for less. “We continue to believe that Oracle’s unsolicited proposal to acquire BEA at $17 per share significantly undervalues BEA, and is therefore not in the best interests of BEA shareholders,” BEA’s board said in a statement. “Accordingly, we will continue to vigorously oppose a sale to Oracle at $17 per share. Over the last several weeks, Oracle has repeatedly asked us for the price at which we would be willing to begin negotiations, and the Board has concluded, after consultation with its financial adviser Goldman Sachs, that it is prepared to authorize negotiations with third parties including Oracle at a price of $21 per share.”
Seems BEA isn’t too worried about missing the deadline Oracle set for BEA to accept its “generous” original bid. Question now is, whether that bid is a PeopleSoft-style “best and final offer”–i.e., one that can be sweetened a bit or a final “best and final offer.”