HP and 3Par Sign Definitive Merger Agreement

Hewlett-Packard and 3Par have signed a definitive agreement for HP to buy the California storage vendor for US$2.35 billion, the companies said Thursday.

The agreement was expected after Dell said earlier in the day that it wouldn't try to match HP's latest offer of $33 per share, ending a two-week bidding war that captivated the high-tech industry.

The transaction has been approved by both HP's and 3Par's boards of directors, and 3Par has paid Dell the $72 million termination fee that was part of their now-defunct merger agreement announced on Aug. 16.

HP commenced its tender offer for 3Par on Aug. 27, and it is scheduled to expire at midnight East Coast time on Sept. 24, the companies said. It is now up to 3Par's shareholders to accept HP's offer price and tender their shares in favor of the deal.

A simple majority of the shares must be tendered for the deal to go ahead, an HP spokeswoman said.

3Par sells a storage virtualization technology that allows companies to reduce the volume of storage they need to allocate to run their applications. 3Par President and CEO David Scott said in a statement that being part of HP will allow 3Par's products to "truly thrive."

HP expects to close the deal by the end of the calendar year. As a result of the bidding war it has ended up paying double the price that Dell bid for 3Par in its initial offer.

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