3PAR Calls HP $2B Bid Superior, Moves to End Dell Deal

3PAR board of directors nods to HP's $30 a share offer, gives Dell three business days before agreement terminates.

August 27, 2010

D.H. Kass

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3PAR Inc. said that its board of directors believes Hewlett-Packard Co.’s $30 a share, or $2 billion, offer is a “superior proposal” to Dell Inc.’s most recent $27 a share offer and that it will terminate the prior agreement between the two companies in favor of HP’s bid.

3PAR said that, as contractually agreed, it will terminate its agreement with Dell in three business days. The storage vendor also said that until the Dell agreement ends, terms of that deal require its board to continue to recommend Dell’s tender offer.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that Dell is considering a higher bid. The computer maker's contract with 3PAR allows it to match any offer within three business days.

On Friday, HP lifted its bid to $30 a share, or $2 billion, for 3PAR, topping its own $1.88 billion offer of earlier in the day, just hours after Dell matched HP’s $27 per share offer from late Thursday.

Dell’s initial agreement with 3PAR allows it to match competing bids. Should Dell lose the bidding war to HP or any other suitor, 3PAR has agreed to pay the computer maker a $72 million termination fee.

Despite the most recent development, the two companies’ tussle for 3PAR may continue for a while, as both have significant cash reserves. At the close of its most recent quarter, HP reported nearly $15 billion in cash and short term investments while Dell said it had some $12.5 billion.

At the close of Friday trading, 3PAR shares were changing hands at $32.46, up $6.43 for the day and more than 160 percent from 30 days ago, when it closed at $9.63. In after hours trading Friday, 3PAR shares dipped to $32.34.

Dell initially offered $18 a share for 3PAR two weeks ago.

TAGS: Dell,HP,hewlett-packard,3PAR,Storage

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