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Dell Wins 3Par Acquisition Battle With $1.6B Bid

HP left in cold, as storage company accepts Dell's sweetened offer.

Who Should Hewlett-Packard Buy?
(click image for larger view)
Who Should Hewlett-Packard Buy?
3Par said it has accepted Dell's sweetened offer to buy the storage company for $1.6 billion, leaving Hewlett-Packard in the lurch.

It didn't take much for Dell to trump HP's offer -- Dell offered just 30 cents a share more than HP's $24 a share offer, fueling speculation that 3Par favored Dell as a suitor all along. The three companies were in lengthy negotiations for weeks before Dell made its first offer of $1.15 billion last week.

Early this week, HP countered with an offer of $24 per share, worth $1.6 billion, nearly what Dell is paying for 3Par. Dell's $24.30 per share price is a 152% premium over 3Par's $9.65 closing price on the day before Dell's first bid.

"With the 3Par acquisition, Dell will have the broadest set of differentiated storage solutions in the market today," said Dell senior VP of corporate strategy Dave Johnson in a statement.

Dell has been branching out from its origins as a PC provider as it moves into IT services following its $3.9 billion acquisition of Perot Systems last year. In 2007, Dell acquired storage firm EqualLogic for $1.4 billion. Market researchers have estimated that Dell's storage provided by EMC represents about 25% of its storage offerings.

In announcing Thursday that 3Par had accepted its bid, Dell said it believes its "broad global customer reach will dramatically accelerate 3Par's revenue growth." 3Par has been consistently unprofitable in recent years.

Dell noted that it has been investing heavily in IP and infrastructure in recent years and has been focusing on providing customers with a differentiated set of storage solutions with a particular emphasis of facilitating cloud computing solutions. "Storage is at the forefront of this strategy," said Johnson.

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