3Par, which Dell had a $1.15bn agreement to buy, has received a counter-offer from HP.
On Monday, hardware and software giant HP, the world's largest PC vendor, announced its offer to 3Par to acquire it for approximately $1.6bn (£1.03bn) in cash, or $24 a share. On 16 August, Dell, the world's third-largest PC vendor, had signed an agreement to acquire 3Par for $1.15bn, or $18 per share. HP's offer places a 33-percent premium on Dell's offer.
3Par sells storage kit based around virtualisation and cloud computing, with key product lines comprising its InServ servers and the InForm operating system. Dell had plans for 3Par; it singled out the plan to acquire the company in its earnings report, issued on Thursday, as a symbol of its commitment to enterprise-scale solutions.
HP has indicated that it would like to fold 3Par into its "Converged Infrastructure strategy", according to Dave Donatelli, HP's executive vice president and general manager for enterprise servers, storage and networking, and that 3Par can help HP firm-up its plans "in cloud and scale-out markets".
HP's most recent quarterly financial report showed a 6-percent profit in the third quarter, with an income of $1.8bn.
"There are unparalleled strategic benefits to be gained by combining these two organisations. HP is uniquely positioned to capitalise on 3Par's next-generation storage technology by utilising our global reach and superior routes to market," wrote Shane Robison, HP's executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer, in an open letter to the company.
3Par had no comment on the deal when ZDNet UK contacted the company on Monday. Dell could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.