By Steve Zurier

June 6, 2003 (Hanley-Wood News Service) - Oracle Corp. threw the enterprise applications software world into uncertainty Friday by making a $5.1 billion, $16-a-share hostile bid for PeopleSoft Inc.

Oracle's move to acquire PeopleSoft ended an exciting week for PeopleSoft, which last Monday announced a deal to acquire enterprise software maker J.D. Edwards for $1.7 billion.

The PeopleSoft/Edwards deal is of special interest to home builders, since large builders such as Lennar Corp. and MBK Homes depend on Edwards software to run their businesses.

Just how Oracle's hostile bid for PeopleSoft will impact the deal with Edwards is unclear, although a press release issued by Oracle said that once Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft is complete, Oracle will review whether it support the original deal with Edwards.

Craig Schweikart, senior consultant with Shinn Consulting, said Oracle's move raises more questions about the commitment of the major software makers to the home building industry.

"What this tells me is that the J.D. Homebuilder customer base really needs to ask some tough questions at their user meeting with Edwards next week," Schweikart said. "While the big software companies are interested in home builders for their e-commerce B2B potential, it's unclear they are interested in supporting the builders' day-to-day operations."

Copyright 2003 Hanley-Wood LLC