"We took a measured approach throughout the process and have decided to end these discussions," said Dell's senior vice president for corporate strategy Dave Johnson in a statement. Dell is still entitled to a $72 million termination fee, the company said.
HP's offer early Thursday of $33 a share was enough to clinch the acquisition. Dell had started the bidding with an $18-a-share offer on August 16. Before that offer was made, 3PAR stock had been trading below $10 a share. 3PAR went public at $14 a share in 1999. Both Dell and HP have large cash war chests of over $12 billion so there were some indications the bidding could rise to even more astronomical levels.
The high premium paid for 3PAR seems to underscore the dearth of storage companies available to help fuel the galloping growth of cloud computing.
The HP acquisition is a victory of sorts for HP's vice president Dave Donatelli, who had just moved over to HP's storage operation after being restricted from working in storage activities for a year after leaving EMC in a contentious exit. Donatelli had been a rising star at EMC and now the victorious acquisition of 3PAR makes him a rising star at HP.