The takeover battle for storage vendor 3PAR has kicked into high gear. On Thursday night HP raised its offer to $27 a share, topping a revised Dell offer of $24.30. This morning Dell has made a third bid that matches the latest HP offer of $27, or about $1.8 billion. This afternoon, HP again boosted its bid to $30 a share, or $2 billion.
"HP’s proposal is not subject to any financing contingency and has been approved by HP’s board of directors," the company said.
Friday morning Dell said its latest $27 a share bid had been accepted by 3PAR's board of directors, and reaffirmed its commitment to 3PAR and its technology.
"Dell continues to believe that the acquisition of 3PAR, with its industry-leading storage technology, is important to its customers and will enhance Dell’s position in utility-storage solutions," the company said in a statement. "Consistent with its previous rationale for the acquisition, Dell also believes that its global brand and broad global reach will dramatically accelerate 3PAR’s revenue growth."
The battle for 3PAR increasingly resembles a high-stakes game of Texas Hold 'Em, with each player becoming more deeply invested with each round of raises. As HP continues to raise the stakes, can Dell win the game by simply calling each raise in the belief that it has the best hand (at least in the eyes of the 3PAR board)? Or will the battle end with one party winning out with a more decisive raise?
For the moment, HP's $30 offer has put the ball back in Dell's court. Will the next move be decisive? Are these companies "pot committed" to the point that neither believes it can afford to lose.?
For background and analysis of the 3PAR takeover fight, see Analysis: Dell-3PAR Storage Acquisition, It's HP vs. Dell in Bidding War for 3PAR, Mega-Roundup: The Battle for 3PAR and Dell Counters HP with $1.6B Bid for 3PAR.