Aug. 26, 2010 – Hewlett-Packard increased its purchase proposal of utility storage firm 3Par to nearly $2 billion only hours after rival Dell seemed set to buy the California company.

Bumping up the acquisition price for 3Par by 11 percent, HP would pay $27 per share in cash, or $1.8 billion, in response to Dell’s most recent pitch.

This morning, Dell had offered $24.30 per share in cash, or about $1.6 billion, which topped an offer set last week by HP by 30 cents per share. That offer with Dell included a provision of $72 million to 3Par in the event of acceptance of another unsolicited proposal.

Both computing giants have paid millions over the last few years in efforts to accelerate storage and virtualization capacity. With the latest acquisition announcement, HP stated that 3Par would speed up its converged infrastructure strategy.

Dave Donatelli, HP executive vice president and general manager, stated that his company’s offer was “superior” to Dell’s proposal and that H.P. also has a leg up on acquiring 3Par because of existing links with that firm, according to a news release. If accepted by 3Par, HP anticipated the transaction to close by the end of this year.

3Par, based in Silicone Valley, was established in 1999 and specializes in highly virtualized, dynamically tiered, multi-tenant storage arrays built for public and private cloud computing.

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