HP again outbids Dell in battle for 3Par

Offered purchase price for data storage company reaches $2 billion

What started out as a routine offer by Dell Inc. to acquire data-storage provider 3Par Inc. has turned into a marathon of one-upmanship.

After Dell on Thursday increased its offer to $27 a share, Hewlett-Packard Co. has again upped the ante, agreeing to pay $30 a share, or $2 billion, for the Fremont, Calif., company.

In a statement today, HP said the latest proposal represents an 11 percent premium above the most recent price offered by Dell of $27 per share on August 26.

According to HP, the proposal has been approved by its board of directors. “Once approved by 3PAR’s board, HP expects the transaction to close by the end of the calendar year,” the HP statement added. Dell earlier raised its offer to $24.30 a share for 3Par, slightly more than the $1.6 billion that HP first offered to counter Dell’s initial bid on August 16, of $18 a share, or $1.2 billion.

3Par officials accepted that offer. But HP then submitted a proposal to acquire all outstanding shares of 3Par for $24 a share in cash, putting the Dell deal on hold.

Industry analysts say that with almost $15 billion in cash, HP can counter just about any offers from Dell.

Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, ranks No. 11 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors. HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., ranks No. 12

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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