For quite some time now this messy affair has been running, sometimes without an end in sight. But now, the long-running and bitter battle is over: PeopleSoft's board of directors has approved a takeover deal with Oracle.

In a deal worth an estimated $10.3 billion, Oracle announced today that "PeopleSoft's board had agreed to a deal valuing PeopleSoft at $26.50 per share, higher than Oracle's "final bid" of $24, and a roughly 10 percent premium over PeopleSoft's closing price Friday."

The deal, which is expected to finalise at the end of January next year, should add about 1 cent per share to Oracle's bottom line starting in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, and 2 cents per quarter 2006. Oracle plans to retain staff from PeopleSoft, including senior engineers and many others who will be needed to help roll out an upgrade to PeopleSoft 8 and a release of PeopleSoft 9.