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Oracle and BEA: It was fun while it lasted

BEA on Friday responded to Oracle's latest letter, which outlined why BEA was nuts for thinking it could get $21 a share.For those keeping score at home that's three letters in 24 hours.

BEA on Friday responded to Oracle's latest letter, which outlined why BEA was nuts for thinking it could get $21 a share.

For those keeping score at home that's three letters in 24 hours. First BEA said it wanted $21 a share. Oracle said show us your other bidder. And now BEA said:

Dear Charles (Phillips):

As we have stated repeatedly, your $17.00 per share proposal is unacceptable to the Board of Directors of BEA Systems. As fiduciaries, our Board cannot endorse a proposal that it has concluded significantly undervalues BEA. We therefore assume that your proposal will expire on October 28.

Sincerely,

William Klein

What's next? Oracle's bid expires and then the database giant sets out to dismantle BEA. Get ready for the slow bleed of BEA. I seriously doubt it has any other interested parties at $21 a share.

Update: BEA shares are trading at about $16.78 and hit a low of $16.29. Looks like the market is agreeing with Oracle on this one. More reportage.