Source AP ©

Oracle to buy BEA Systems for more than 6.66 billion dollars

Oracle Corp. said Friday it would buy software maker BEA Systems Inc. for more than $6.66 billion (EUR4.69 billion). If the deal is arranged Oracle will expand its product portfolio and better compete with chief rival SAP AG.

Oracle said it sent a letter earlier this week to BEA Systems' board offering $17 per share, a 25 percent premium over Thursday's closing price of $13.62.

BEA Systems had more than 392 million outstanding shares as of May 31, 2006. It has delayed numerous quarterly and annual filings since then.

"We have made a serious proposal including a substantial premium for BEA," said Oracle President Charles Phillips in a statement. "We believe our all-cash offer provides the best value for BEA Systems' shareholders and the best home for BEA's employees and customers."

A call to BEA for comment early Friday was not immediately returned.

BEA is under pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn to sell itself. Last week, he increased his stake in the company to 13.2 percent, or 51.8 million shares, from an 11 percent interest previously.

The company also faces pressure from larger competitors such as IBM Corp. as well as Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores.

BEA makes software that supports business processes such as billing, supply chain management and securities trading, by communicating between those programs and back-end systems like databases.

Such "middleware" software has been in high demand as businesses move more of their tasks onto the Web, but competition has held down prices.

BEA is the latest takeover target for Oracle, which has snatched up more than 30 rival companies in the last three years under flamboyant Chief Executive Larry Ellison. The company is vying for market dominance with SAP, the leading seller of business applications software that helps companies manage their operations.

Since 2004, Oracle's market value has climbed by about $40 billion (EUR28.17 billion), or more than 50 percent, as it devours smaller companies.

Shares of San Jose, Calif.-based BEA Systems surged $4.34, or 31.9 percent, to $17.96 in premarket trading Friday. Oracle shares were down 8 cents at $22.38.

Comments
Russia to respond with military-strategic blow to new USA's sanctions
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
Peculiarities of Russian sex
Russia must build strong Orthodox coalition in Europe to defeat the West
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
Aretha Franklin: A colossus, a woman, a lady, a light and a soul
The Sham called Democracy
The Sham called Democracy
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Aretha Franklin: A colossus, a woman, a lady, a light and a soul
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
The Sham called Democracy
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Default more likely to hit American, rather than Russian economy
The Sham called Democracy
The Sham called Democracy