BEA Systems' board of directors has named an acquisition price to competitor and suitor Oracle: US$21 a share – or $4 more than Oracle's initial offer.
"We continue to believe that Oracle's unsolicited proposal to acquire BEA at $17 per share significantly undervalues BEA, and is therefore not in the best interests of BEA shareholders," the company said in a statement.
Oracle on Tuesday set a deadline of Sunday for BEA to accept its "generous" original bid, which is worth about £3.3bn. The company also indicated it had no interest in a protracted merger battle.
But BEA declared today that the company's existing assets and future business prospects dictate a significantly higher sale price. The company said it has customers for its array of enterprise software among 75% of the Fortune Global 500, along with $1bn in cash reserves and no debt.
BEA said it arrived at the $21-per-share figure after talking to its financial adviser, Goldman Sachs. The company said it has authorised its attorneys to give a draft merger agreement to third parties willing to meet the price. The agreement would "provide for an appropriately high degree of certainty of closing," BEA said.
A successful purchase of BEA would significantly increase Oracle's standing in the middleware space. While some BEA assets would help round out Oracle's offerings, the companies overlap in key categories like web servers and ESB (enterprise service bus) products.