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HP counters Dell's boosted bid for 3Par

Hewlett-Packard raises the stake yet again in the quest to acquire 3Par, saying it will pay $27 a share, just hours after Dell raised its offer to $24.30.

The bidding war for storage specialist 3Par went two more rounds Thursday.

Shortly after the market close, Hewlett-Packard raised its bid to $27 per share, up from $24. That move comes just hours after Dell juiced its own bid to $24.30, which was a counterpunch to HP's counteroffer from earlier in the week.

HP's new offer, if it's accepted, would put the total value of a 3Par acquisition at about $1.8 billion. It marks an 11 percent premium over Dell's offer Thursday morning.

Money

"Our revised proposal offers superior value to 3Par's shareholders, while maintaining our disciplined approach to only pursuing acquisitions that we believe will strengthen our portfolio and create long-term value for our shareholders," said Dave Donatelli, general manager of HP's Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking unit. "Not only is our offer superior to Dell's proposal, HP remains uniquely positioned to execute on this combination given the number of synergies between the two companies."

Under deadline pressure, Dell had boosted its offer to acquire 3Par--and said that 3Par had accepted the higher bid.

Dell announced Thursday morning that 3Par has acceded to the new cash offer of $24.30 per share, which raises the total value of the bid to about $1.6 billion. Last week, Dell's initial offer stood at $18 per share, or about $1.15 billion--a bid that 3Par's board had approved.

The increased offer came in reaction to HP stepping in Monday with a bid of $24 per share. At that juncture, 3Par said that HP's unsolicited offer was likely to result in a "superior proposal" and gave Dell an ultimatum: three days to produce a better offer.

The initial agreement between Dell and 3Par included a provision to allow Dell to match competing bids, and the two companies have now signed an amendment reflecting the new offer price, according to Dell.

The Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker wants 3Par at least in part for its expertise in data management for multitenant cloud-computing environments. Virtualized storage arrays from Fremont, Calif.-based 3Par let companies buy storage capacity as needed.

Under the terms of the deal, 3Par would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Dell.

Dell said the amendment to the offer won't change the timing of the proposed acquisition, which it expects to close before year's end. HP similarly said that if it is successful in with its bid, the deal would close by the end of the year.

Also on Thursday, HP made a separate cloud-related acquisition, picking up privately held Stratavia, which focuses on database and application automation, for an undisclosed sum.

Updated 1:25 p.m. PDT: Recast the story to incorporate HP's increased offer for 3Par.

Updated 6:21 a.m. PDT: Added information on HP's acquisition of Stratavia.