HP sparks 3Par bidding war

Dell’s deal to acquire data storage firm 3Par was left in tatters yesterday after rival HP offered $400 million (€316 million) more for the firm.
HP’s $1.6 billion bid comes a week after Dell unveiled a $1.2 billion offer for the virtual storage company, and could spark a bidding war between the pair, WSJ.com reports.
Nancy Havens-Hasty, president of merger arbitrage fund Havens Advisors, told Bloomberg a Dell counter-offer is already in the pipeline, while the New York Times predicted rivals like Oracle might yet look to get in on the action.
Any new bidders must aim high, though. HP’s offer of $24 per share is already some 150% higher than 3Par’s share price before Dell announced its $18 per share deal last week, the NYT said.
3Par is regarded as one of the last high-end data storage providers, and could be a key asset in Dell and HP’s battle to dominate the cloud computing market and take on rivals including Oracle and IBM.
The bidding war comes during a period of increasing merger and acquisition activity, after Intel announced a $7.68 billion takeover of security software firm McAfee last week.