HP trumps Dell with 3Par bid

City A.M. Reporter
HEWLETT-PACKARD launched a $1.6bn (£1.03bn) bid for data storage company 3PAR yesterday, topping an offer by technology rival Dell.

bid $24 a share for 3Par, about 33 per cent more than Dell planned to pay in a deal announced a week ago. At the time, Dell’s bid for 3Par, which makes storage products that use virtualisation technology that allows companies to boost their operational efficiency, marked an 87 per cent premium to its share price.

HP, faced with turmoil in its top ranks after the resignation of chief executive Mark Hurd, said its board had approved the bid.

Shares of 3Par, which was founded in 1999 and posted sales of $194m in its last fiscal year, jumped 37 per cent in premarket trading after the HP announcement. Shares of HP slipped one per cent.

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 and information.

Cloud computing is technology that allows users to access data and software over the internet and corporate networks, instead of their desktop computer’s hard disk.

Because Dell offered such a steep premium for 3Par, industry analysts had doubted a competing offer would emerge. The boards of Dell and 3Par had approved terms of the deal.

HP said 3Par would be an “ideal fit” and offered terms that it said would be similar to those proposed by Dell but would not include a termination fee. HP said its proposed deal would close by the end of the year.