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Dell Tops HP's Bid for 3PAR – Just Barely

If nothing else, HP Thursday morning made Dell's proposed acquisition of 3PAR more expensive

If nothing else, HP Thursday morning made Dell's proposed acquisition of 3PAR more expensive.

That was when Dell sweetened HP's unexpected $24-a-share bid on Monday for the virtualized storage house by 30 cents to $1.53 billion, up from the $1.15 billion that 3PAR accepted from Dell last week.

HP now has to decide whether to raise again, a move that would presumably be conditioned on getting any advance to stick. See, Dell's got perpetual matching rights.

Anyway, Dell says 3PAR has accepted its amended offer and that if the obscure little company walks away this time it's going to cost its suitor $72 million, up from the $53.5 million termination fee in their original agreement.

HP and Dell are chasing the unprofitable $200 million-a-year 3PAR for its cloud potential.

Wall Street evidently expects HP to counter because at $26 and change 3PAR's stock price remains above Dell's $24.30 offer. The Street has frothily speculated this week that the bidding could go to $29 a share according to a Reuters survey.

According to the story 3PAR told the SEC the other day HP, thinly disguised in the narrative as the unidentified "Company B," was actually the first company to make an acquisition offer. 3PAR didn't say what HP was willing to pay back on July 23 only that it was less than the $18 a share Dell eventually put on the table. The rejected HP was given an opportunity to improve on Dell's number but walked away on August 1. That was just about the time that the Mark Hurd crisis was coming to a head in HP's executive suite. Hurd was out August 6.

3PAR says Dell originally tried to hold its costs down to $15-$17 a share cash and wouldn't go to the $18.25 3PAR asked for on July 31 to negotiate exclusively.

See its SEC filing here.

The chatty stuff starts on page 19. A Company A and a Company C also make brief appearances. One of them is generally believed to be Oracle. The Wall Street Journal thinks the other one was NetApp. The Register for some reason thinks it was Cisco.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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