HP and Dell in extraordinary bidding war for data firm

31st Aug 2010

Long time computing rivals Dell and Hewlett Packard are locked in an increasingly aggressive bidding war for data storage solutions provider 3PAR.

In the latest of a series of bids and counter bids, HP entered the weekend having made a decision to increase its offer for 3Par to $2 billion or $30 a share, an 11% hike on Dell's $27 per share offer.
3PAR  - now finding itself at the centre of an extraordinary bidding battle between two of the computing industry's giants - has notified Dell about its intention to terminate the merger agreement between the two companies.
"(Our) board of directors has determined that the unsolicited proposal by HP to acquire all of 3PAR's outstanding common stock at $30 per share constitutes a superior proposal," 3PAR said in a statement on Friday.
On first sight, 3Par seems an unlikely target for such a struggle. Based in Fremont, Calif., 3Par was founded in 1999, went public in November 2007 and  employs 670 people. For the most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31, 3Par's revenue was $194.3 million while it reported a net loss of $3.2 million.
It's the need for ever greater storage requirements driven by Cloud Computing that's locked the two giants into battle. 3Par makes and sells storage utilities, or groups of specialised computers designed to store data that are frequently updated. The thin provisioning from 3Par would help Dell or HP use expensive storage hardware more efficiently by sharing it among multiple customers. 
Specifically 3Par's platform lends itself to multitenant storage for Cloud Computing, explained Praveen Asthana, vice president of enterprise solutions and strategy. "3Par is uniquely qualified in providing that kind of a storage technology right now," he said. "There are very few other companies available to purchase."
He added: "If you look at a lot of our customers, they are buying high-end systems, and in some cases they choose the high-end systems first, and then they choose the midrange and the low-end systems."

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