In the Battle for the Data Center, shareholders of storage provider 3PAR are looming as some of the biggest winners. HP today made a stunning $1.6 billion offer for 3PAR, trumping a $1.1 billion offer from Dell that already represented an 86 percent premium to 3PAR's share price.
The huge premium led some analysts to speculate that there were rival bidders for 3PAR, and Dell was hoping for an over-the-top bid that would be hard to match. UPDATE: The Register confirms that HP made an earlier offer, but the 3PAR board opted for Dell's bid instead.
Not for HP, which has now come off the top rope with a bid that tops Dell by 33 percent. HP's offer underscores the intensity of the competition between the largest technology companies as they seek to assemble portfolios of integrated offerings for the data center.
“HP’s proposal offers superior value to 3PAR’s shareholders. Our global reach, strong routes to market and commitment to innovation uniquely position HP as the ideal fit for 3PAR,” said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking, HP. “We’ve seen great momentum with our Converged Infrastructure strategy, and 3PAR accelerates that strategy, particularly in cloud and scale-out markets.”
The HP offer also comes just weeks after the messy departure of CEO Mark Hurd, and will surely prompt additional analysis of the company's strategy during its leadership transition.
Wall Street traders are anticipating a response from Dell. In pre-market action, shares of 3PAR shares are trading above $25, above HP's $24 a share offer price. 3PAR shares closed at $9.65 a share on August 13, prior to Dell' s bid.