Database software firm Oracle Corp. will acquire business software maker BEA Systems Inc in a deal worth $8.5 billion, raising its initial offer by 14 percent, the companies announced Wednesday.

Oracle will pay BEA shareholders $19.375 per share of BEA, up from an offer of $17 per share the Redwood City, California-based firm made in October.

The deal marks the end of a three-month Oracle bid to convince investors to accept the deal. After Oracle's initial offer, BEA had asked for $21, which Oracle rejected at the time.

As recently as last month, Oracle said a deal would not be possible under current board of directors at BEA, a maker of so-called middleware software, which

The addition of BEA products and technology will significantly enhance and extend Oracle's Fusion middleware software suite, said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in a statement.

Oracle has had a successful history of acquiring companies to boost its profit. Investors have responded favorably, doubling the stock since 2004.

The transaction is expected to add to add as much as 2 cents to Oracle's earnings by the end of the first full year after closing, Oracle said.

Shares of Oracle slipped slightly in early trading, falling 8 cents, or 0.38 percent to $21.23. BEA shares rose $3.01, or 19.32 percent to $18.59.

The deal is subject to stockholder and regulatory approvals and closing conditions.