Dell prepares to sweeten bid for 3Par

City A.M. Reporter
COMPUTER giant Dell is preparing to sweeten its offer for 3Par after arch rival Hewlett-Packard trumped an earlier bid.

Last week, Dell offered to pay $1.15bn (£744m) for 3Par, which specialises in so-called “cloud computing” that lets users store documents and files online instead of on a hard disk or server.

But HP was quick to trump Dell’s offer with a $1.6bn bid of its own. Analysts said HP, which is more profitable and has more cash than Dell, was likely to emerge the victor.

Before HP made its counter bid, analysts assumed Dell’s offer was a “done deal” because its $18-a-share bid offered a staggering 87 per cent premium on 3Par’s stock price. HP’s $24-a-share bid offers a further 33 per cent premium.

It is understood that Dell will table its sweetened bid in the next few days. A Dell spokesman refused to comment.

HP claimed it had been eyeing 3Par for some time now, and had made an earlier offer for the grid-storage vendor, HP executives said, though they did not provide further details. Management are determined to snap up the firm, even though the computer giant is reeling from the loss of its chief executive Mark Hurd.

Hurd was unceremoniously ousted from the company due to allegations over his expenses claims. He allegedly entered some incorrect claims to cover up a relationship with Jodie Fisher, a former adult model who was recruited to help HP cut business deals.

The competing bids for 3Par come as technology heavyweights like IBM and Oracle have been boosting investment in cloud computing and virtualisation technology, hoping to take advantage of corporate demand for services that manage the flow of data.