Bidding war over 3PAR continues

HP once again boosted its bid for the data storage firm 3PAR to $2 billion in cash on Friday, just hours after Dell matched its offer of $1.8 billion.

HP's latest bid of $30 per share was submitted before 9 p.m. on Friday and represents an 11 percent boost over Dell's best offer to date. HP increased its offer to $27 a share on Thursday, only to have Dell match the offer before the start of trading Friday. Dell is still evaluating whether to match HP's latest bid.

Both companies prize 3PAR because of the firm's experience creating hardware for corporate data centers, providing either firm with a valuable foothold in the market for high-end cloud storage. The heated competition between the two also indicates that neither wants its rival to gain an advantage in the rapidly-growing sector.

Dell, whose bids were all accepted by the 3PAR board, first offered $1.15 billion for 3PAR on Aug. 16. Before that bid the company's shares traded at $9.65. 3PAR officials reportedly prefer Dell because they believe the company would operate with more autonomy under the Round Rock, Texas-based PC maker.