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.
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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?