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Oracle Bids for BEA

It offers $6.7 billion, or $17 a share, to acquire its fellow software maker.

Software maker


(ORCL) - Get Report

proposed Friday a deal to acquire

BEA Systems

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for $6.7 billion, or $17 a share.

The offer represents a 25% premium to BEA's closing price Thursday. Oracle sent a letter to BEA's management saying it's prepared to proceed immediately "to a process that leads to a definitive agreement."

The company said in a press release that it believes the bid "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."

Software seller BEA, where activist investor Carl Icahn has been accumulating shares and pushing for the company to sell itself, surged on the news, jumping 29% to $17.55 in premarket trading.