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Archive for August 25th, 2010

Article from SF Gate.

“Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest PC-maker, has offered to buy Fremont’s 3Par Inc. for about $1.6 billion, topping Dell‘s bid for the maker of data-center equipment and software.

The bid of $24 a share in cash is 33 percent higher than Dell’s offer, HP said Monday in a statement. Dell offered $18 a share in cash, or about $1.15 billion, for 3Par on Aug. 16.

HP and Dell are using acquisitions to challenge Cisco Systems and IBM in the market for data-center products and services, which generate higher profits than desktop and laptop computers. 3Par sells hardware and software that make it easier and cheaper for companies to store information. Its stock rose past HP’s offer, signaling that some investors expect a bidding contest.

“One of the growth areas in technology is in the enterprise storage space,” said Joel Levington, managing director of corporate credit at Brookfield Investment Management Inc. in New York. “3Par’s products fit well in there. It’s an easy way to gain product breadth.”

HP said on a conference call that it has been working on the proposed acquisition since before the departure of Mark Hurd, who stepped down as HP’s chief executive officer on Aug. 6 after an investigation found he filed inaccurate expense reports to conceal a personal relationship with a marketing contractor.

The offer is HP’s second bid for 3Par, Dave Donatelli, who heads HP’s storage and server division, said Monday. The PC-maker has been in talks with 3Par for “some period of time,” he said, declining to comment further.

David Frink, a Dell spokesman, declined to comment. John D’Avolio, a spokesman for 3Par, didn’t immediately comment.

HP’s offer values the unprofitable 3Par at almost 2 1/2 times its worth before Dell’s bid, and at more than eight times its sales of $194.3 million in the year ended March 31. 3Par’s revenue rose 5.2 percent from 2009, and it has about 670 employees.

“It’s a very exorbitant price,” Levington said. It probably doesn’t make economic sense for Dell to counter, he said.”

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