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In what ways is Oracle seeking to create value from its acquisitions?

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In what ways is Oracle seeking to create value from its acquisitions?
There are different ways in which Oracle seeks to create value from its acquisitions. The most prominent acquisition during recent times is the acquisition of Sun Microsystems. However there are several other acquisitions that enable Oracle to grow, and maintain its profitability. There was a lot of value that the acquisition of Sun gave Oracle. First, Oracle has transformed itself from a purely software maker into a software and hardware maker. This enables Oracle to broaden its customer base. Further, Sun's open source projects were posing competition to Oracle products. This competition was removed by the takeover of Sun. For instance, after Oracle took over Sun, OpenSolaris has been discontinued. Further, Sun has been used by Oracle to sue Google over its Java patents from Sun. So, the accustom has enabled Oracle to fight competition on several fronts. Most importantly, Oracle has now entered the hardware market successfully. Had Oracle tried to directly develop hardware making capacity, it would have taken several years and would have detracted Oracle from its normal business.
Another important acquisition by Oracle was that of Phase Forward. This company was in a lucrative market of data management systems for the pharmaceutical ...

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Invest in Oracle's bonds in your investment portfolio

Background

For purposes of this exercise, assume that you are the manager of a mutual fund specializing in corporate bonds. Your clientele are mostly 45 and older, risk-averse, long-term investors. Remember that there are countless mutual funds your investors can turn to; unless you continuously produce higher returns than other funds without incurring serious risks, your investors will turn elsewhere. Currently your fund includes a wide variety of bonds from different large corporations, but none from the high-tech sector.

Oracle, the largest database company in the world has gone to the market more than once with a large bond offering, raising capital to pursue acquisitions. Oracle has spent more than $25 billion the past three years buying a long list of competitors -- notably, PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, and Hyperion Solutions. Access to capital markets is relatively rare by high-tech corporations; they have a record of being able to fund their acquisitions out of current cash. Most high-tech companies have steered clear of debt financing, preferring to spread equity, which has a record of much more rapid accumulation in the high-tech context. However, the consolidation of the software industry is proceeding at a rate such that future acquisitions will be relatively larger scale, and recourse to debt financing may be increasingly in the works for the industry.

Required Readings

You are now faced with a certain dilemma. You know a good deal about the debt/bond market, but not a whole lot about the high-tech sector and its financing mechanisms. But your investors follow the news as much or sometimes better than you do, and they're quite aware that Oracle is the largest software company after Microsoft, and is close to what passes for a blue-chip in the software business, as there is. As it is, many of your investors are wondering why you haven't included Oracle?s bonds as part of your mutual fund?s portfolio thus far, and they're calling this to your attention (bond investors tend to have fairly substantial pots of money, a lot of time on their hands, access to the Internet, often a restless curiosity somewhat offset by a general lack of information about finance and financial markets, and an almost indefinite ability to reach you on the telephone at odd hours of day or night).

You're going to need to do some research on Oracle [http://www.oracle.com/index.html] including their financial situation as well as their overall strengths as a corporation. You'll also need to know something about the economic climate in which the corporation operates, its prospects for the future, and its ability to leverage funds as necessary. Keep in mind that having a strong reputation as a technology company does not mean the returns on their bonds will be higher than bonds from lesser known corporations.

As noted earlier, you should consult material from the Background Readings or related other materials you find yourself (be sure to reference properly whatever specific sources you draw on); searches on Google [www.google.com] or Yahoo [http://finance.yahoo.com] or other sources to follow up on points raised in these articles or other issues discussed in the Background Information will amply repay the effort you invest in them (see, investment is everywhere!).

Task

When you've read through the articles and related material, scanned the websites, and thought about it carefully, please compose a five page paper on the following topic:

Would you choose to invest in Oracle's bonds as part of your investment portfolio? Why or why not? If so, what sort of strategy would you pursue?

In the course of preparing your paper, you will probably want to think, about, among other things, issues such as:

Risk of this debt ? both in terms of default risk and from the price decreases
Current price of Oracle?s bonds ? overvalued or undervalued?
Your opinion about Oracle?s purchase of Siebel Systems ? remember, if the merger goes well the value of Oracle?s debt will increase.
Assignment Expectations:

A five page paper detailing whether you would choose to invest in Oracleâ??s bonds.

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