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HP-Dell bidding war for 3Par gets hot

SEATTLE - Hewlett-Packard Co. boosted its bid for 3Par Inc. to $1.88 billion Friday, topping Dell Inc.'s offer by 11 percent and again raising the stakes in the bidding contest for the data-storage company.

The $30-per-share offer from HP came just hours after Dell matched HP's Thursday bid of $27 per share. The latest price is three times what 3Par was trading at before Dell made its first bid last week, for $18 per share, or $1.13 billion.

Dell and 3Par said earlier Friday that 3Par's board had accepted the latest bid from Dell, which only has to match the terms of other offers under its initial agreement with 3Par, which is based in Fremont, Calif.

On Friday, 3Par shares surged $6.43, or 25 percent, to $32.46. That's above HP's latest offer price, signaling that investors expect Dell to respond.

HP and Dell, among the world's largest personal computer makers, are looking at 3Par as a way to build up their "cloud computing" businesses, delivering software, data storage and other services to customers over the Internet. - AP

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