Whatsa matter, Kagermann — lederhosen in a knot?

Back in January, Oracle President Charles Phillips boasted that his company soon would be “seeing the whites of” SAP’s eyes. It was little more than trash talk at the time, but darned if the two aren’t locked in trench warfare right now. On Thursday afternoon, Oracle raised its bid for Retek by 25 percent, trumping rival SAP’s “best and final offer” for the software applications company, one Retek seemed poised to accept. “We believe that SAP’s offer is a good deal for Retek stockholders, and our board of directors has unanimously recommended that it be accepted,” Retek President and Chief Executive Marty Leestma said in a statement Thursday before Oracle made its new bid. What happens now? Given how Oracle and SAP have been pulling the rug out from under each other lately, my guess is this little slugfest will continue. Certainly, it’s not difficult to imagine SAP taking the bait and raising its own bid again. We’ll see. Meanwhile, in semi-related news, Oracle’s CFO, Harry You, apparently surprised everyone with the announcement that he’s bugging out after only eight months to become CEO of technology consulting company BearingPoint, leaving Oracle Co-president Safra Catz to add interim CFO to her many duties. Given all that Oracle has going on, analysts frowned a bit. “Undoubtedly, this raises the execution risk,” said Tad W. Piper, analyst at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray. “You need a lot of management depth and bandwidth to handle an acquisition.”


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