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HP outbids Dell to buy storage company 3Par

Karl Flinders

The bidding war between HP and Dell to buy specialist storage supplier 3Par appears to be at an end, with HP upping its bid to $2.4bn.

Dell initially bid $1.5bn for the company in mid-August, only for HP to offer $1.6bn in an effort to hijack the bid.

Dell then matched this offer, before HP increased its bid to $1.8bn, which Dell once again matched.

The bidding did not stop there, with HP offering $2bn which Dell then matched.

Dell has issued a statement that it will not revise its most recent offer.

"We took a measured approach throughout the process and have decided to end these discussions," said Dave Johnson, senior vice-president, corporate strategy at Dell.

3Par specialises in thin provisioning, a technology that enables IT managers to reduce operational costs by allocating only the storage they use.

Dell and HP have both recognised the importance of storage in cloud computing architectures, which has fuelled the bidding war, analysts said.

The winning bid values 3Par at 325 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, according to Bloomberg, compared to an industry average for acquisitions of about 16 times. 3Par has never made a profit in any of its fiscal trading years.

How the bidding war unfolded:

  • 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.
  • 02 September - Dell ups its bid to $2.1bn
  • 02 September - HP offer $2.4bn.

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