The protracted bidding war between Hewlett-Packard and Dell over storage vendor 3Par has concluded this afternoon after Dell bowed out of the bidding process, saying it had "ended its discussions regarding a potential acquisition".
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This came after Dell raised the stakes once more this morning, offering $32 per share for the assets of 3Par. In response, HP raised its bid again to trump Dell's final offer, offering $33, which values target at $2.4bn (£1.56bn).
In a statement, Dell's senior vice president of corporate strategy Dave Johnson said: "We took a measured approach throughout the process and have decided to end these discussions."
In a statement issued in response to HP's offer, 3Par said that the new bid was a "superior offer" but added that its merger agreement with Dell remained in effect and the board continued to recommend that shareholders accept Dell's offer and tender their shares pursuant to it.
Dell's offer contains a $92m termination fee, payable by 3Par and a multi-year reseller agreement, fixed pricing and other terms that 3Par says are "unacceptable".
Nevertheless 3Par now plans to enter into a merger agreement with HP following the expiration of a three day waiting period set out in its agreement with Dell.