I fully expected a couple more twists and turns in this drama before the Sept. 20 deadline Dell had set, but HP wasted no time in re-raising its offer. The whole buyout saga is starting to look just like the three-way opera between Data Domain, EMC
Dell is no slouch when it comes to selling storage systems, but 3PAR is the key to make a grand entrance in the burgeoning storage market for cloud-computing environments. Without this essential element, Dell would have to spend a long time and lots of money on developing its own super-efficient capacity management systems, and might miss the fleeting window of opportunity to make a serious mark. That's bad news for the attendant server systems, too, and ultimately is a supremely bitter pill to swallow.
By contrast, HP offers a storage portfolio that overlaps with 3Par's offerings today, alongside other 3Par rivals such as IBM
So I expect Dell to come back to the table and maybe another HP counter, each time just barely outdone by yet another Dell offer, until the curtains close on Dell and its new storage-efficiency unit. Enjoy the increasing buyout premiums, 3PAR shareholders.
Editors' Note: We adjusted HP's offer per share from $26 to $27.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.