Oracle Stronger on Offense with Its Bid for BEA?

Ann All

Even before the ink was dry on all of the analysis surrounding SAP's recently announced acquisition of business intelligence pureplay Business Objects, BusinessWeek predicted that the deal would prompt aflurry of similar marriages in the software industry -- not all of them for love or even money.


It sure didn't take long for that to happen. Oracle is making an unsolicited offer of $6.7 billion for the struggling BEA Systems, reports In numbers eerily similar to those associated with SAP's offer for Business Objects, Oracle put a 25 percent premium on BEA's Oct. 11 closing stock price of $13.62.


In a statement on the Oracle Web site, the company's president says the addition of BEA will help accelerate Oracle's development of a "world-class suite of middleware."


The offer for BEA doesn't come as a surprise. IT Business Edge blogger Kachina Dunn rightly called it back in August of last year. She speculates that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison may be setting his sights on a full software stack.


In contrast to SAP's offer for Business Objects, which many observers have pitched as a defensive move, the BEA deal appears to have more of an offensive edge. ZDNet blogger Joe McKendrick says that buying BEA offers a way for Oracle to cover more of the enterprise software bases. With BEA, Oracle can offer customers some interesting SOA-focused alternatives -- and possibly even some add-ons -- to its flagship database and ERP businesses.

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