Friday, 12 October 2007

Big Eats Big continues - Oracle bids $6.7b for BEA Systems

The buying frenzy in the global software market continues to gather pace. Hot on the heels of SAP's bid for Business Objects (see "US obesity spreads to Europe" below), Oracle has just announced a $6.7b offer for BEA Systems. On my count that makes well over $30b that Oracle has spent on M&A in the last couple of years.

The bid, at $17 a share, is unlikely to see the end of the affair as BEA Systems shares have shot up to £18.15 which means the market is expecting a rival bid. This bid seems to have been triggered by activist shareholder - Carl Icahn - who threatened action if BEA System's board did not put themselves in play.

I was interested to read the comments of Katherine Egbert, an analyst from Jefferies & Co, who said that if the company was acquired by Oracle "they could probably fire everybody except the engineers". As few BEA Systems engineers read HotViews... I suggest you brush up the CV.

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