HP Tops Dell’s Bid for 3PAR With $1.6 Billion Offer

HP made waves Monday with a $1.6 billion offer for all outstanding shares for Fremont, Calif.-based 3PAR, a maker of virtualized multitenant storage arrays. HP’s offer of $24 per share of 3PAR tops the bid of rival Dell — already approved by the boards of both Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and 3PAR (NYSE: PAR) — by 33.3 percent.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) hopes to fold 3PAR’s virtualized storage solutions into its Converged Infrastructure data center strategy, which could potentially give HP, already the world’s largest PC manufacturer, a leg up as more companies seek to leverage cloud computing.

“HP’s proposal offers superior value to 3PAR’s shareholders,” said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager for enterprise servers, storage and networking at HP. “Our global reach, strong routes to market and commitment to innovation uniquely position HP as the ideal fit for 3PAR. We’ve seen great momentum with our Converged Infrastructure strategy, and 3PAR accelerates that strategy, particularly in cloud and scale-out markets.”

In a conference call about the proposal on Monday morning, Donatelli told investors and analysts that HP had performed its due diligence on 3PAR and had already put an offer before 3PAR’s board when 3PAR accepted Dell’s deal last week. Dell and 3PAR inked a deal in which Dell would pay about $18 per share, or approximately $1.15 billion in cash. HP’s offer today updated its original bid.

HP noted that its board has approved the offer and it is not subject to any financing contingency or further internal approvals. If 3PAR elects to reject its deal with Dell in favor of HP, HP said it expects to close the transaction by the end of the calendar year.

HP’s move comes a little more than two months after it announced a restructuring of its enterprise services unit to better focus its data center operations on the cloud computing market.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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