HP Tops Dell's Bid in Battle for 3Par

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Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) raised the stakes once again in its bidding war with Dell (DELL) over data-storage company 3Par (PAR), offering $27 a share in cash, or $1.8 billion, and topping Dell's higher bid made earlier Thursday.

Dell put 3Par in play on Aug. 16 by offering $18 a share, or about $1.15 billion, representing nearly a 90% premium to the storage company's share price at the time. HP jumped into the bidding Monday with a $24 a share offer worth $1.6 billion. That deal looked likely to stand until Dell offered $24.30 a share Thursday morning.

Both tech titans covet 3Par because it could help the companies to expand their higher margin storage, server and networking businesses. Shares in 3Par have almost tripled since Dell's initial offer. HP and Dell are off about 5.5% and 2%, respectively, over the same span. See the chart below:

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