Oracle to buy BEA Systems

Oracle has cut a deal to purchase middleware pioneer BEA Systems Inc. for about $8.5 billion.

Just three months after Oracle's initial $17 per share BEA buyout offer last October. At the time, Oracle president Charles Phillips called the initial offer "generous" but BEA's board of directors rejected it outright.

"The pending acquisition of BEA continues to show the long term importance of middleware to Oracle's strategy. Middleware not only provides the platform for future growth, but BEA's offering provides a gateway to the high end clients found in finance, telecom, insurance, and the public sector," said Ray Wang, a business applications analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. "This is critical to Oracle as it continues to seek market share from these key verticals through not only the acquisition of mission critical industry apps but also the tools for custom development like BEA."

More on Oracle and BEA:

 Oracle bids for BEA Systems

Oracle scoffs at BEA's buyout proposal

In a statement released today, Oracle founder Larry Ellison said the deal is designed to enhance Oracle's Fusion middleware stack.

"Oracle Fusion middleware has an open, 'hot-pluggable' architecture that allows customers the option of coupling BEA's WebLogic Java Server to virtually all the components of the Fusion software suite," Ellison wrote.

Oracle president Charles Phillips added that he has been pushing for the BEA deal for more than three years.

"This transaction will accelerate the adoption of Java-based middleware technologies and SOA; advance innovation in enterprise applications infrastructure software; extend our strategic relationships with customers and partners; and increase our penetration in key regions like China," Philips said.

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