Dell backs out of 3PAR bidding war

HP looks like it has won the 3PAR battle.

Dell appears to have ended the bidding battle, which seems to have been raging longer than the Trojan war, after saying it would not raise its offer and was ending talks.

“We took a measured approach throughout the process and have decided to end these discussions,”  Dave Johnson, senior vice-president, corporate strategy, told the FT.

Dell made the first move for the virtusalisation-optimised storage company in the middle of August, bidding approximately $1.15 billion. It planned to integrate 3PAR into its existing portfolio of storage products, including PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC. At the time it was approved by the board of directors of both companies, and saw Dell paying $18 in cash per 3PAR share.

However, just when we thought the deal was tied up HP came onto the scene offering to acquire all of 3PAR’s outstanding shares for $24.00 per share in cash, or at an enterprise value of $1.6 billion. This represented a 33.3 percent premium above the price proposed by Dell.

Dell didn’t take this lying down offering an increased share price of  $24.30 a share – amounting to $1.6 billion. It said at the time that 3PAR had accepted this.

But it still wasn’t tied up with HP bidding $27 per share last week and then a $33-a-share offer today, which boosted 3PAR’s value to about $2.4bn and outbidding rival PC maker Dell for the fourth time in less than three weeks and causing Dell to retreat.

Dell said it was entitled to receive a $72 million break-up fee from 3PAR upon the termination of its merger agreement.

This ridiculous bid war has closed just as we exit the silly season and head into the less desperate month of September.