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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 10:31 GMT
Oracle secures Peoplesoft backing
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison says this is the firm's final offer
More than 60% of shareholders in software firm Peoplesoft have tendered stock in favour of rival Oracle's $9.2bn (4.9bn) bid for the company.

Oracle said 228.7 million Peoplesoft shares had been tendered, giving it the majority support it required to keep its $24-per-share offer alive.

The software giant has extended its takeover offer until 31 December.

Oracle has made five bids for Peoplesoft during the last 18 months, which have all been rejected.

Bid 'inadequate'

The company's chief executive Larry Ellison has said he was prepared to enter a "definitive merger agreement" this weekend.

Peoplesoft spokesman Steve Swasey said his company would not be "commenting at this point".

Peoplesoft - which maintains Oracle's offer is inadequate - has previously said it would fight the takeover into next year.

It has said it will attempt to thwart a takeover by doubling the number of its shares in circulation.

However, many financial analysts believe that investors will have no choice but to accept the offer.

If Oracle were to walk away, Peoplesoft's share price could fall by more than 30%, they believe, leaving shareholders worse off.

On Friday, Peoplesoft's shares gained 25 cents to close at $23.17 on the Nasdaq in New York while Oracle's shares plummeted by 22 cents to reach $12.75.

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