BEA stands firm against Oracle in takeover fight

San Jose’s BEA Systems Inc. (BEAS) reiterated its rejection of Oracle Corp.’s (ORCL) $17 a share takeover bid Friday as the offer moved closer to expiration.

In a letter to Charles Phillips, president of Oracle Corp., that was released to the press in a statement, BEA Systems Vice President William Klein once again stated that the offer was “unacceptable” to BEA’s board of directors. The “middleware” maker has asked for $21 a share, a move valuing the company at $8.23 billion.

“As fiduciaries, our Board cannot endorse a proposal that it has concluded significantly undervalues BEA,” he wrote. “We therefore assume that your proposal will expire on October 28.”

In a more strongly worded letter,Phillips wrote to the BEA board on Thursday that the $21 a share price was “impossibly high,” representing an 80 percent premium on the company’s stock price prior to calls by shareholders tosell the company. He pointed out that no other bidder had come forward.

“Nobody would seriously consider paying that kind of multiple for a software company with shrinking new license sales,” Phillips wrote.

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