PeopleSoft warns workers of Oracle ‘disruption’

By : |January 16, 2004 0

SAN FRANCISCO: As part of its $7.3 billion hostile takeover bid, Oracle Corp. may make proposals for PeopleSoft’s annual meeting that could disrupt PeopleSoft’s business, PeopleSoft Inc.’s chief financial officer warned employees in an e-mail on Friday.

“In the coming weeks, Oracle may nominate their own slate of board candidates and propose other actions for our annual meeting,” PeopleSoft Chief Financial Officer Kevin Parker wrote in an e-mail that was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“In our view, this would be consistent with their continuing efforts to disrupt our business and damage PeopleSoft,” he wrote. “We are confident that both our stockholders and customers will maintain their strong support of PeopleSoft.”

The internal e-mail marked a continuation of the acrimonious battle that the two companies have waged since Oracle launched its hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft last year.

A spokeswoman for Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, California, declined to comment specifically on the PeopleSoft e-mail.

“We remain committed to completing this acquisition and hope for success,” she said.

A spokesman for Pleasanton, California-based PeopleSoft said it was common for PeopleSoft executives to send company-wide e-mails to communicate with employees.

“We expect a proxy battle,” said spokesman Steve Swasey. “We just wanted to let our employees know this is expected and tell them ‘don’t get distracted.'”

Patrick Walravens, an analyst at JMP Securities, said the e-mail showed that PeopleSoft is concerned that Oracle’s takeover tactics will raise questions in the minds of customers about the longevity of PeopleSoft’s solutions.

“Customers are hesitant to invest in solutions that might be going away – so PeopleSoft’s job is to convince customers that it is here to stay,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Oracle announced last November that it planned to propose names of candidates for PeopleSoft’s board of directors.

Regulatory officials in the United States and at the European Commission are looking into the anti-trust implications of the proposed takeover.

No date has yet been set for PeopleSoft’s annual meeting, which was held in May last year, Swasey said.

© Reuters

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