Dell walks away: HP wins 3Par for $2.4 billion

Hewlett-Packard officially won storage vendor 3Par after Dell declined to match a $33 a share, or $2.4 billion, bid.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday officially won storage vendor 3Par after Dell declined to match a $33 a share, or $2.4 billion, bid.

Dell's statement on the matter ended a wild bidding war that started at $18 a share for 3Par. Dell

said in a statement that it will get a $72 million breakup fee. The company added that its final offer was for $32 a share.

The 3Par bidding war reflected the animosity between two fierce rivals, Dell and HP, and the fact that there aren't many enterprise storage players to buy.

Earlier on Thursday, 3Par said Hewlett-Packard has raised its offer to $33 a share for the storage company, or $2.4 billion, after Dell countered with a $32 a share offer. 3Par deemed HP's bid as superior. HP had bid $30 for 3Par and Dell countered with $32 a share. Dell also revised a termination fee to $92 million.

3Par outlined what happened in a statement (my emphasis added):

Although 3PAR previously notified Dell of its intention to terminate its merger agreement with Dell, the merger agreement was not terminated and remains in full force and effect. Following 3PAR's notice of intent to terminate the merger agreement, and prior to receiving HP's revised acquisition proposal, 3PAR received a revised acquisition proposal from Dell in which Dell increased its offer price from $27 per share to $32 per share. Dell's revised acquisition proposal also included an increased termination fee of $92 million payable by 3PAR to Dell as a condition to accepting a "superior proposal," and a multi-year reseller agreement with Dell, which would by its terms be assumed by an acquirer of, or successor in interest to, 3PAR in the event of a change in control of 3PAR (including the acquisition of 3PAR by HP or another third party), and which contained fixed pricing and other terms that the 3PAR board of directors determined to be unacceptable.

Now that HP has won 3Par it will have another integration effort ahead. HP has been on a buying spree of late, but moved to reassure investors with a $10 billion buyback plan.


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