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Oracle 'Ready' for More Acquisitions

The company's chairman touts its ability to do more large deals.
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has completed the integration of PeopleSoft and is ready to consider another major acquisition, says Chairman and former CFO Jeff Henley.

Speaking late Monday at the J.P. Morgan investors conference in San Francisco, Henley said "we've absorbed PeopleSoft. If another deal came along, we're ready."

In fact, Oracle has made several relatively small acquisitions since acquiring PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion in January after a bruising 18-month battle. But until now, Oracle executives have said, in effect, that it was too soon to take on a major M&A project. Oracle, Henley said, has "the capacity to do more large deals."

Henley did not mention specific targets, but two troubled software makers --

Siebel Systems



BEA Systems


-- have been considered strong possibilities for some time. Siebel is under pressure from its institutional owners to do something to return shareholder value, with a number of holders pushing hard for a sale.

More recently, there has been speculation that Oracle might like to strengthen its hand in the market for business intelligence software by buying

Hyperion Solutions


or perhaps

Business Objects


or the somewhat smaller



, which has a market cap of $679.6 million.

Henley also said that paying a dividend "doesn't make sense for us right now." But "at some point in time, we'll probably pay a dividend," he added.

Shares of Oracle had recently slipped 29 cents, or 2.4%, to $12.06 as tech stocks engaged in a modest pullback Tuesday.