BEA says Oracle buyout offer is too low

We're worth 'substantially more': BEA vice president

BEA has responded to Oracle's offer this week to buy the company for US$17 (NZ$21.80) per share in cash, calling the offer too low.

The company has forwarded a letter to Oracle President Charles Phillips to this effect:

"Our Board of Directors acknowledges your interest in BEA as expressed in your letter of October 9 and is considering it in consultation with our advisors. It is apparent to our Board, however, that BEA is worth substantially more to Oracle, to others and, importantly, to our shareholders than the price indicated in your letter," BEA's William Klein, vice president of planning and development, said in the letter.

"As we have indicated to you previously, we believe that the absence of current financial information in the public markets limits investor visibility into our performance. We expect that this will be corrected in the near future when we become current on our SEC filings, and can communicate more fully with the investment community," said Klein.

BEA has had to delay its financial filings as it reworks previous numbers due to an issue with back-dated stock options, something that affected other technology companies.

Klein also asked for clarity about what is meant that Oracle plans to proceed with the process.

"As we have made clear to you in previous discussions, we are very sensitive to the fact that Oracle is a direct competitor of BEA. Therefore, the Board cannot consider any process that is long in duration, open-ended in nature, or would divulge competitively sensitive information which could materially harm our business and our shareholders' interests," Klein said.

The full sale price, based on Oracle's bid, has been valued at about US$6.7 billion by the Wall Street Journal.

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