To say that modestly profitable utility storage maker 3PAR is a company in the right place at the right time would be a massive understatement.
The Dell versus Hewlett-Packard bidding war for the smallish Fremont, Calif.-based enterprise storage company took two huge steps only minutes apart Aug. 27 when 3PAR, by far the hottest property in the storage business, received an offer from Dell matching HP's $1.8 billion bid and accepted it, apparently ending the four-day-long, high-stakes bidding war between the two IT superpowers.
Then, as soon as the word went out about the apparent end to the bidding process, HP lashed back with yet another offer: this time for a cool $2 billion, which at $30 per share is about 11 percent higher than Dell's most recent bid of $27.
Dell's match of HP's offer was written into its original Aug. 23 agreement with 3PAR. HP's offers are unsolicited.
The bidding has gone this way: HP made the original approach to 3PAR a few weeks ago at unannounced terms. Dell countered on Aug. 16 with a $1.15 billion bid; HP followed with $1.5 billion, Dell with $1.6 billion, HP with $1.8 billion, capped by Dell's "final" $1.8 billion offer.
Then came the $2 billion bid. That's where the deal is at this minute, but the way it's going the news could change at any time.
This has been one quick back-and-forth bidding process. Last year's EMC versus NetApp battle for Data Domain, which ended up with EMC paying $2.3 billion for the deduplication storage expert, took several weeks.