Dell ups offer for 3PAR to US$1.6B, tops HP

The bidding war between Dell Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.for virtualized storage vendor 3PAR continued on Thursday, with Dell increasingits bid to US$24.30 per share, or about $1.6 billion.

The offer has been accepted by 3PAR, according to Dell. Ittops a $24 per share offer made by HP earlier this week.

Dell had originally inked a deal to buy 3PAR for $18 pershare, or roughly $1.15 billion, but the agreement had a provision for matchingcompetitive offers, according to a statement.

Dell expects the deal to close before the end of this year.

However, Dell’s amended offer does not necessarily end thebidding war, and HP has a window to come back with a higher bid.

According to an SEC filing on Thursday, 3PAR considered thebid as a “superior proposal” to HP’s offer. 3PAR has said that thetender offer will expire on Sept. 20 at midnight Eastern Time, after which 3PARwould become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dell.

3PAR is known for its thin provisioning capabilities, whichsupply storage resources on demand. The approach is said to be more efficientthan traditional “fat provisioning,” a process that dedicates anexcess amount of storage to an application in anticipation of future needs.

Spokesmen from both HP and 3PAR declined to comment.

It’s hard to predict a response when two companies get intocompetitive bidding situation, especially in an environment where a lot of ITcompanies are consolidating, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

“The Dell bid is a sober testing of how interested HPis in 3PAR,” King said. “It’ll be interesting to see how this shakesup.”

He couldn’t predict whether HP would respond, but thecompany’s original bid indicated they’re interested in 3PAR, he said.

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