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A judge Wednesday rejected a proposal to settle a lawsuit brought last year by shareholders of PeopleSoft Inc.

"It's just not enough," Vice Chancellor Leo Strine of Delaware's Court of Chancery said of the proposed settlement of the shareholder suit filed just days after Oracle Corp. began its long attempt to acquire PeopleSoft.

After two weeks of trial in Oracle's lawsuit, the hopeful acquirer raised its offer from $21 per share to $24 per share, and set a Nov. 19 deadline for PeopleSoft shareholders to tender. About 60 percent of PeopleSoft's shareholders responded favorably, but the company's board continues to hold out for a higher price.

Wednesday's decision to reject the proposed shareholder settlement leaves PeopleSoft shareholders with the ability to pursue damages against the board, if they can prove it acted improperly in rebuffing a series of offers from Oracle.

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