Oracle Makes Final Bid For Banking Company

Database giant Oracle has given holdout i-flex
shareholders until Dec. 23 to accept a new $1.3 billion offer for
the India-based financial software company.

As part of this latest offer, Oracle said it will purchase an additional 35
percent of i-flex stock at a 49 percent premium over its Thursday closing
price of around $33. The new offer would bring Oracle’s stake in the company to 90 percent.

“This is the last opportunity for i-flex shareholders to tender their
shares to Oracle, CEO Larry Ellison said in a statement. Ellison said
another offer won’t be made for at least the next five years, unless i-flex’s
share price drops dramatically.

Although refusing to give more details on the reasons for the new offer,
Oracle spokesman Bob Wynne said “We just want to get the deal done.”

Today’s stock purchase offer is just the latest in a series of i-flex stock offers
from Oracle. Following last year’s purchase
of 41 percent of i-flex shares, Oracle increased its stake in the company to 55 percent in August,
then 75 percent in September.

As reported previously, around 90 percent of i-flex
customers include banks that use Oracle software. Ellison has called
banking a strategic industry.

Oracle stock was up over 1 percent in mid-afternoon trading after shares
5 percent earlier this week. The drop in price followed a Lehman Brothers suggestion that investors sell in the face of a Dec. 18 earnings report the financial analyst said would disappoint.

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