Oracle's $5.3bn MICROS purchase gets EC thumbs-up

With approval from Europe's regulatory authorities now in the bag, Oracle's planned buyout of the retail and hospitality firm is approaching its conclusion.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor on

Oracle's $5.3m takeover of retail and hospitality technology firm MICROS Systems has passed the European Commission's regulatory hurdle but still faces an impending deadline for shareholder approval.

On Friday, the EC said the planned purchase of the Columbia, Maryland-based company, announced in late June, raises no competitive issues and can go ahead.

"The commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because the combined market share of MICROS and Oracle is limited and many strong competitors would remain after the acquisition," the EC said in a statement.

The tech giant is offering $68 in cash for each common-stock share in the company, which sells mobile and cloud services, consulting, hardware, and point-of-sale software for restaurants, hotels and retail. In June, the MICROS board of directors unanimously approved the transaction.

Oracle said the tender offer for outstanding MICROS shares ends at midnight ET on Tuesday, 2 September.

"Consummation of the tender offer remains subject to MICROS Systems' shareholders tendering a majority of the outstanding shares of MICROS Systems common stock on a fully diluted basis," Oracle said in a statement.

At the time the planned acquisition was announced, there were suggestions that it was designed to divert attention away from a series of disappointing quarterly results from Oracle, a cloud strategy that is still forming, and concerns about application growth.

However, Oracle president and CFO Safra Catz said: "We expect this transaction to be immediately accretive to Oracle's earnings on a non‐GAAP basis and to expand over time."

Oracle also said MICROS management and employees will form a dedicated business within Oracle.

According to MICROS, it has customers in casinos, table and quick-service restaurants, leisure and entertainment, fuel and convenience, cruise, and travel operations in more than 180 countries across the world.

The planned acquisition of MICROS is Oracle's largest since it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010 for $7.4bn. In 2008 it paid $8.5bn to take over BEA Systems but its most expensive purchase remains PeopleSoft, bought for $10.3bn in 2005.

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