In what is turning out to be an old-fashioned bidding war, Hewlett Packard today submitted an offer that's "superior to the Dell transaction" to the board of directors of 3PAR, which offers storage virtualization services.
HP's cash offer of $24 per share is a 33 percent premium over Dell's offer of $18 per share, the company said. The deal has already been approved by HP's board of directors and the company said it expects to close the deal by the end of the calendar year.
But before we starting talking about closing deals, don't you think we should see what the folks out in Round Rock, Texas have to say about that? Do I hear a bid hike from Dell in the works? Maybe another 33 percent? Going once, going twice...
In a post earlier this month, Larry Dignan explained that, for Dell, the acquisition would give it the assets to tackle the lucrative high-end data center storage market. In its statement, HP said that "3PAR's next-generation storage architecture will accelerate HP’s winning Converged Infrastructure strategy, which provides customers with an unmatched portfolio of intellectual property across storage, server and networking solutions."
In a letter to 3PAR executives today, HP wrote:
As a Silicon Valley-based company, we share 3PAR’s passion for innovation. We have great respect for 3PAR’s management team and its employee base, and are excited about the prospect of working together going forward. Our long track record of acquiring companies and integrating them seamlessly into our organization gives us great confidence that this will be a successful combination. We are including with this letter a draft merger agreement with the same terms as your announced transaction with Dell but which eliminates the termination fee.
The letter further said that HP was ready to execute the acquisition agreement immediately upon termination of 3PAR's deal with Dell.