It’s officially over. After Dell pulled out of the running this morning, HP has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire data storage company 3PAR, for $33 per share in cash, or a value of $2.35 billion. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
This morning, HP upped the ante with an offer worth $33 per share or $2.4 billion. 3PAR accepted HP’s bid and Dell withdrew.
The bidding war began when Dell had previously signed an agreement to acquire 3PAR for $18 per share or $1.13 billion two weeks ago, with a provision for matching competing bids. HP then effectively outbid the company and offered $1.6 billion, but Dell matched that offer last week, after which HP made a renewed bid for $1.8 billion. HP then offered $2 billion last Friday, which Dell matched. Now that Dell has pulled out, it will collect a $72 million termination fee from 3PAR for terminating the merger agreement.
According to the release, 3PAR’s storage products will compliment HP’s existing storage solutions and help the company drive growth in the virtual data center and cloud computing markets. 3PAR provides a virtualized utility storage platform that enables customers to significant drive down cloud computing infrastructure, storage and associated management costs.
Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking, HP stated in the release: “HP and 3PAR is a winning combination that will accelerate HP’s Converged Infrastructure strategy and bolster our ability to provide customers with the industry’s highest levels of performance, efficiency and reliability…We intend to invest in 3PAR’s technology to create long-term value for our stakeholders.”
So why did HP want 3PAR so bad? As TechCrunch contributor Steve Cheney wrote last weekend, 3PAR is so valuable because of its “thin provisioning” technology enables disk space to be allocated only when applications need capacity, greatly reducing IT management costs. It doesn’t make sense for HP to try to recreate this technology, so buying 3PAR was the best option. HP, in particular, wants to increase its innovations, especially after reports that Mark Hurd wasn’t an R&D friendly CEO.
After two weeks of a pretty intense bidding war, it looks like we can finally put this one to rest.