Turns out Oracle really wanted BEA Systems after all, enough to pay a 24 percent premium over Tuesday’s closing price for BEA shares. The database giant said today it would pay $19.38 a share in cash, which values the deal at $8.5 billion including the $1.3 billion in cash BEA already has on hand.
BEA (BEAS) and Oracle (ORCL) got into an intense game of chicken back in October, starting with a $17-per-share offer from Oracle. BEA scoffed at the price, asking instead for $21 per share. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said he wouldn’t offer more for the middleware provider, and Oracle walked away.
But the reality of software consolidation and pressure from activist shareholder Carl Icahn appears to have pushed BEA back to the negotiating table. And Oracle’s offer was…well, the only one out there. BEA shareholders seem happy, though: At last check, shares of BEA were up more than 19%, at $18.56; shares of Oracle had added 8 cents to change hands for $21.39.