The bidding war for storage specialist 3Par became even more ferocious today as HP twice upped its offer price in an attempt to prevent Dell winning the acquisition.
Last night Dell had claimed victory with a $1.6bn bid, only to be trumped by HP with a $1.8bn bid, which Dell subsequently matched.
Now HP has increased its offer to £30 a share, valuing 3Par at $2bn.
Dell has a clause in its original offer that allows it to match any rival bid - so far 3Par has yet to endorse HP's approach - so the ball is back in Dell's court to match HP's higher price.
3Par specialises in thin provisioning, a technology that enables IT managers to allocate only the storage they use, rather than allocate storage that remains empty - and so reduce operational spending.
Dell claims that 3Par's products can help to reduce data management costs by 50%, lower storage administration costs by up to 90% and infrastructure costs by up to 75%.
At the time of publication of this latest round of bidding, the timeline of the 3Par acquisition trail was as follows:
16 August - Dell announces agreed offer of $1.5bn.
23 August - HP enters the fray with a counter-bid worth $1.6bn.
26 August - Dell matches HP's $1.6bn offer.
27 August - HP ups its bid to $27 per share, worth $1.8bn in total.
27 August - Dell responds, again matching HP's price.
27 August - HP goes further still, offering $30 per share, valuing 3Par at $2bn.
Next - who knows?