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Dell stoking HP's fire

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3PAR awash in sea of green

Dell stoking HP's fire

The Hp and Dell bidding battle for 3PAR has reached two billion dollars with HP's Friday afternoon bid of $30/share. It could be a crushing blow, exactly what Dell wanted.

Consider that Dell's last two bids have been weak. Last week it increased an HP bid of $24/share by just 30 cents. When HP came back with a $27/share bid on Friday it merely matched and HP swatted it aside with the $30/share raise. These have not been strong Dell bids. In fact it could be that Dell has been stoking HP's fire.

3PAR then decided HP's bid was technically a superior proposal and gave Dell three business days to respond. If Dell does not then, on Wednesday, 3PAR's directors will recommend that shareholders accept HP's bid, thus changing its stance since the bidding battle started. Dell gets a termination fee of some $72m and that will be that ... except it won't as Dell will have unfinished business, still needing a virtualised, tiered and multi-tenant storage system for the cloud; what 3PAR would have brought to Dell's table.

Is there any other compelling acquisition target out there that could bring this to Dell? Effectively there is just one - Compellent, whose shares have been steadily rising throughout this bidding war.

Of course Dell could match HP's offer again or even raise it to see what HP will do. It might even go to $32 but, somehow, I get the feeling Dell's heart is no longer in it. Mentally, it's conceded and it's so long David (Scott), it's been nice knowing you but you gotta take the money and run for HP. We're out of here. ®

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