Boxed-In BEA Systems

Nov. 6.07 | About: BEA Systems (BEAS)

Here's the thing. How is that everyone else knew right from the beginning that BEA (BEAS) was totally mishandling the Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) offer, except those involved with BEA? Dealbook has a nice analysis of where things stand:

BEA Systems may have rebuffed Oracle’s $17 a share bid. But through a series of negotiating mistakes, it may have unwittingly put itself in a box.

In one of the more bizarre maneuvers in the history of takeover defense, the software maker didn’t just reject Oracle’s bid, it said that it would accept only an offer worth $21 a share. Oracle called its bluff and pulled its bid. Now it appears that no other bidder may emerge — and BEA is now contending with an angry Carl C. Icahn.

Wall Street denizens have been scratching their heads quizzically for weeks about how BEA responded to Oracle and how it may have left itself in a precarious position. Its advisers, Goldman Sachs and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, are the same firms that worked for Dow Jones and came under scrutiny for a series of negotiating blunders. (They were unable to push Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to pay more than his initial bid.)

Meanwhile, CNET has this scathing analysis, dubbed: "Signs of flailing: BEA now a Web 2.0 company?":

My post on whether BEA Systems is screwed hasn't even been up for a full day, and the company decided to one-up me with this press release, marking a 180-degree turn from everything they have been pushing for the last two years. The company had been talking about Aqualogic as an SOA (service-oriented architecture) story, and now it's pitching it as a blog-wiki mashup: "New Web 2.0 service solutions from enterprise
infrastructure software firm BEA, along with enterprise social-computing products, are designed to accelerate the next generation of user participation."

Reminds me of the good 'ol Ph.D. contrarian indicator.