) and Dell (
) have been locked in a battle for storage-software company 3Par (
) for the last three weeks, but it looks as though the latter is
conceding to the former.
H-P bid $33 for each share of 3Par Thursday, and Dell indicated
that it wouldn't make a higher offer. The move all but gives H-P
the win - a surprising twist in what has become one of the most
closely watched takeover fights in recent memory.
Dell was the first to make a bid for 3Par, which produces software
that helps companies manage their data more effectively. Its
initial bid was for $1.15 billion; H-P quickly countered with a
higher offer. The two tech giants volleyed ever-higher offers back
and forth, but H-P's $33-a-share bid - which values 3Par at $2.4
billion - appears to have put an end to the game.
Why did the battle reach such a fever pitch? 3Par is the last
independent storage-software company - and it would be a valuable
part of either Dell or H-P's portfolio. Also contributing to the
frenzy was the wider merger and acquisition market: Last month saw
$286 billion in M&A deals, the most since July 2008.
It was the busiest August for M&A on record.
By Benjamin Foster