Kinetic Information LLC released a list of possible “White Knight” organizations that could acquire PeopleSoft to preclude a takeover by Oracle and enhance their own businesses as well. According to the company, likely White Knights would have to be sufficiently large to digest a company the size of PeopleSoft and have sufficient interest in obtaining or expanding its seat at the enterprise table to make the transaction worthwhile.

Writing in a Market Advisory published June 11, 2003, Kinetic Information lists the following firms as leading White Knight candidates:

  • Sun: seeking to push outward into applications from its legacy as a technology provider.
  • IBM: a regular visitor to the M&A well; possibly interested in hastening the Webification of ERP and positioning it as a flagship on-demand application.
  • HP: has a long history in the ERP arena and, especially in its post- Compaq configuration, with excellent credentials as a resource for related hardware and software.
  • SAP: says it doesn’t buy companies to get market share, but it has acquired selectively in the past (e.g., TopTier) and therefore may be “protesting too much.”
  • Siebel: probably too small, but stranger things have happened, and would move the company further into the core of the enterprise.
  • Microsoft: a “usual suspect” forever looking to establish a presence as a significant enterprise player. Kinetic Information’s Market Advisory, entitled “PeopleSoft in Play: Political Ploys and White Knights Are Signs of Changing Times,” is available on the Web at http://www.kineticinfo.com/.

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