Just when software giant SAP thought its deal to buy retail software maker Retek was in the bag, along came SAP's archrival, Oracle, to spoil its plans. Just two weeks after SAP unveiled plans to acquire Retek for $496 million (an offer already accepted by Retek's board), Oracle jumped in with a counteroffer of $525 million for Retek, whose clients include The Gap and Best Buy.
At press time, SAP had no comment on the Oracle bid, although analysts expected SAP to increase its initial offer.
According to a published report, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison told analysts that Oracle's bid was a defensive move to preserve its top position in the U.S. business software market. In recent months, SAP had taken advantage of the turmoil created by Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft to encroach on Oracle's business.
It looks like the games won't end anytime soon. Several analysts have speculated that JDA Software Group will become the next acquisition target. JDA is Retek's primary competitor in the North American market.
After landing an expanded contract with glass company Guardian Industries, trucking and logistics company Schneider National went on a hiring binge last month in hopes of finding 100 truck drivers by the beginning of April. Most of the newly hired employees will work for Schneider National's Specialized Services division hauling flat glass from Guardian's manufacturing plant in Dewitt, Iowa.
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