By Ian Fried
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
June 13, 2003, 4:39 PM PT
PeopleSoft said Friday that it has filed a suit against Oracle, the latest in a series of moves aimed at thwarting the database giant's unsolicited takeover bid.
The suit, filed in California's Alameda County Superior Court, seeks an injunction preventing Oracle from proceeding with its $16-a-share bid for PeopleSoft. In its suit, PeopleSoft charges that Oracle's purpose in making the bid was to interfere with the company's own plans to buy J.D. Edwards for $1.7 billion.
In a statement, PeopleSoft said that "Oracle's true intent in making the tender offer was to undercut PeopleSoft's business operations by disparaging PeopleSoft's products, services and future prospects" as well as to interfere with the J.D. Edwards deal.
On Thursday, J.D. Edwards filed two suits of its own against Oracle, and PeopleSoft's board formally rejected the Oracle bid.
"By making an offer with the acknowledged intent of eliminating PeopleSoft's business, Oracle seeks to disrupt PeopleSoft's efforts to complete new sales, thus effectively damaging PeopleSoft's business even, if Oracle never buys a single share of PeopleSoft stock," PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway said in the statement.
In a statement, Oracle criticized the latest lawsuit.
"PeopleSoft seems to have revived its on-again, off-again litigation strategy," Oracle spokesman Jim Finn said. "This matter must be decided by PeopleSoft shareholders and not by frivolous litigation."
PeopleSoft also faces a lawsuit of its own over the Oracle matter. A class-action suit filed Thursday in Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of PeopleSoft shareholders says the company's board breached its fiduciary duties in connection with its response to the Oracle bid.
In a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, PeopleSoft said it believes these claims are "without merit" and said it intends to "vigorously defend" against the suit.