Oracle said today that it has learned that PeopleSoft will reject its $8.8bn, $24 a share, "best and final" cash tender offer.
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison insisted that there would be no further offers and that, after a year and a half of wrangling over the hostile takeover, it was time to bring the matter to a close.
"After receiving an affirmative clearance decision from the European Commission, we submitted our best and final offer to the PeopleSoft board," he said.
"Oracle's board deliberated and concluded that the absolute maximum amount we were prepared to pay was $24 a share.
"Beyond that, there are better uses of our capital including other acquisitions and repurchasing our own shares. On 19 November we will respect the will of the shareholders."
Jeff Henley, Oracle's chairman, added that PeopleSoft's shareholders now "face a very simple decision".
"They can accept our all-cash $24 per share offer on 19 November or it will be withdrawn. We believe our offer represents a substantial premium over PeopleSoft's standalone value now or in the foreseeable future," he said.
"We leave it to PeopleSoft's shareholders to decide whether PeopleSoft's current management can deliver better shareholder value now, or within any reasonable investment horizon."
Oracle also took the opportunity to reiterate its offer to PeopleSoft shareholders.
"Those shareholders that wish to take advantage of the offer should tender their shares by properly completing the green letter of transmittal recently sent you and returning it along with your stock certificates to the depositary," the company wrote.
"If a bank or broker holds your shares, you should contact your representative and instruct the bank or broker to tender the shares on your behalf.
"If you have any questions or require assistance in tendering your shares, please contact our information agent, Mackenzie Partners Inc, at (800) 322-2885."
Oracle's offer will be withdrawn in the event of a majority of PeopleSoft shares not being tendered by midnight (Eastern Standard Time) 19 November 2004.
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