The Oracle Corp hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, its rival in the market for business software, took an unusual turn on Tuesday when a PeopleSoft director testified in a Delaware courtroom that he would be open to discussions about a merger. \nSteven Goldby, who heads the PeopleSoft board's transaction committee, which is charged with considering Oracle's US$7.7 billion tender offer, said that "if there had been -- and if there ever is an indication that Oracle is willing to pay what we consider to be the right price for the shareholders to get for this company, and there is a high certainty of being able to close the transaction quickly, I, personally, would be open to discussions with Oracle." \nPeopleSoft executives, how-ever, moved quickly to say that the company remains opposed to Oracle's bid. \nBoth companies make software that links back-office programs and databases to handle such tasks as accounting, human resources management and supply chain management. \n"One could argue that PeopleSoft is sending mixed signals," said Lynn Stout, a corporate law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. \nStout said that PeopleSoft's directors may not want to appear unwilling to consider Oracle's offers because that could expose them to shareholder lawsuits. But at the same time, she said, the board may want to maintain its bargaining position by rejecting the offer as being too low. \nGoldby's testimony came on the second day of a Delaware trial in which Oracle is attempting to force PeopleSoft to remove its anti-takeover measures, a "poison pill" provision that would make purchasing a majority of the company's stock prohibitively expensive and a customer rebate program that could leave Oracle with a US$2 billion bill. \nRemoving those measures would allow Oracle to proceed with its tender offer. PeopleSoft denied that Goldby's testimony indicated the company had changed its position on the merger. \nSince Oracle's first bid in June last year, PeopleSoft executives have said that Oracle's offer undervalued the company and was likely to be bogged down in antitrust scrutiny. \nBut the antitrust objection was removed when a federal court ruled in September that it would not block the deal on anticompetitive grounds, and the Justice Department announced last week that it would not appeal the decision. The primary objection to a merger now appears to be price. \n"The board's position is and has always been that it will do what's in the best interest of PeopleSoft's stockholders," said Steve Swasey, PeopleSoft's director of corporate communications. "Mr. Goldby's testimony this morning is consistent with the board's position all along." \nSwasey said that the PeopleSoft board had met more than 80 times in the past 16 months to discuss Oracle's tender offer. \n"Each time they've rejected the bid primarily because it undervalues the company," he said. \nThe current offer stands at US$21 a share, which PeopleSoft rejected as too low. The board also rejected Oracle's offer of US$26 a share in February as undervaluing the company. As recently as last Friday, A. George Battle, a PeopleSoft director, said the company remained committed to winning the Delaware trial. \nStill, Goldby's testimony, coming after the firing of PeopleSoft's chief executive, Craig A. Conway, on Friday further fueled speculation that PeopleSoft is softening its opposition to the merger. \nStout said that it appeared that PeopleSoft would eventually accept a deal with Oracle.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to