Two well-known names among software providers that serve the manufacturing industry are combining to create one of world's largest enterprise applications software companies. Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft Inc. says it is acquiring J.D. Edwards, Denver, for $1.7 billion in stock. J.D. Edwards will become a wholly owned subsidiary, and its stockholders will own about 25% of outstanding capital stock of the combined company, PeopleSoft says. The deal should close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2003, pending regulatory approval and other customary conditions. Under the agreement, J.D. Edwards stockholders will receive 0.86 common shares of PeopleSoft for each outstanding J.D. Edwards common share. That values the transaction at about $1.7 billion based on the closing price of PeopleSoft on May 30, according to a PeopleSoft statement. PeopleSoft says the acquisition will help it expand its presence in more than 20 industries. The combined companies have approximately $2.8 billion in annual revenues.