Oracle (ORCL) bid $17 a share, or $6.6 billion, for BEA Systems (BEAS).

The all-cash bid offers a 25% premium to BEA's Thursday closing price. Shares of BEA surged 32% in early trading, hitting $18.10.

"We have made a serious proposal including a substantial premium for BEA," said Oracle President Charles Phillips. "We believe our all cash offer provides the best value for BEA's shareholders and the best home for BEA's employees and customers. This proposal is the culmination of repeated conversations with BEA's management over the last several years. We look forward to completing a friendly transaction as soon as possible."

"We intend to protect the investment customers have made in BEA's products by supporting those customers and products for years to come," Phillips continued. "Our continuing support commitment has been amply demonstrated with all of our previous acquisitions, including PeopleSoft and Siebel. BEA will be no different. The acquisition of BEA by Oracle will enable an increase in engineering resources that will in-turn accelerate the development of our world-class suite of middleware. Both Oracle and BEA customers will benefit from this increase in engineering investment as they migrate to modern SOA technologies."

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