BEA shops itself around for $8.3bn

BEA shops itself around for $8.3bn

BEA will sell to anyone, for the right price

BEA is soliciting take over bids at $21 per share, valuing the middleware vendor at $8.3bn.

The asking price is based on estimated synergies that a new owner of the company would accomplish. The price also is 20 per cent higher Oracle's $17 offer, which BEA has repeatedly turned down because it would undervalue the firm.

BEA's publication of an asking price is both a repeat of its demand that Oracle raises its offer, as well as a solicitation for other parties to acquire the middleware vendor.

The company said in a press release that BEA's board " has authorized its legal counsel […] to deliver today to any such third parties a draft merger agreement that it is prepared to sign that will be in customary form and provide for an appropriately high degree of certainty of closing."

BEA has been the subject of takeover rumours for several years. HP, IBM, and SAP have been named as potential suitors. SAP has publicly stated that is has no interest in acquiring BEA. HP currently doesn't have a middleware suite, while IBM is the market leader in the space.

Oracle on Tuesday repeated its $17 offer and set a 28 October deadline for the middleware vendor to accept the offer.

Oracle's bid offers a 21 per cent premium over BEA's closing price on the day before Oracle made its bid. BEA's asking price would make for a 54 per cent mark up.

BEA's stock price hardly moved on publication of an asking price. The stock currently trades around $17.65.