Updated from 3:47 p.m. EDT

PeopleSoft ( PSFT) refined its offer for fellow software company J.D. Edwards ( JDEC), offering to pay as much as half the $1.75 billion price in cash. PeopleSoft also doubled its estimate of possible savings to the combined company.

The amended offer modifies the terms of the June 2 deal, which was for J.D. Edwards shareholders to receive 0.43 shares of PeopleSoft for each share of J.D. Edwards in a stock-only acquisition. Based on a June 13 closing price of $16.92 per share of PeopleSoft stock, J.D. Edwards shareholders would receive $14.33 per share. It also accelerates the merger timetable ahead of Oracle's ( ORCL) hostile $16-a-share bid for PeopleSoft.

In its statement, PeopleSoft also said the combined company would result in $150 million to $200 million in cost savings -- up to 2 1/2 times the $80 million in savings the companies envisioned in earlier descriptions.

Meanwhile, at least one analyst told clients it appeared PeopleSoft was offering new customers a doubled refund on software purchases in the event of a purchase by Oracle. The note, from Montauk Securities, stated that PeopleSoft in some cases had offered to refund new clients double their license fees back if the company was purchased.

If true, the rebates could end up costing the purchaser -- assuming, of course, that the debts would have to be assumed, mused analyst Mark Murphy of First Albany. "If customers believed it, it could pull some business forward," he said.

PeopleSoft did not return calls. In its lawsuit filed last week, PeopleSoft alleged that Oracle representatives were attempting to persuade customers not to buy its products while the merger was pending.

Oracle and PeopleSoft also crossed swords again publicly Monday, running dueling ads in The Wall Street Journal. PeopleSoft's ad, in the form of a signed letter by CEO Craig Conway, touts the complementary nature of the merger. It goes on while denouncing the "predatory nature" of Oracle's bid and raising concerns over possible antitrust scrutiny of an Oracle acquisition. Oracle's ad denigrates the quick rejection of its offer by PeopleSoft's board.

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