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HP Snaps Up 3PAR For $2 Billion 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-knows-it-must-feed dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "The bidding war between HP and Dell has reached a swift and dramatic conclusion. One could even say HP sniped the auction at the last minute — to the tune of $2 billion for the acquisition of data storage provider 3PAR. HP's not-so-subtle efforts to pull the company away from a preliminary merger agreement with Dell — a $1.15-billion arrangement announced August 16 — took three successive bids to reach an ultimate conclusion. The final acquisition cost of $2 billion, confirmed by 3PAR late Friday, represents a price of $30 per share of 3PAR stock. That's triple the closing price of the company's stock before Dell's initial offer was made public, and more than double after."
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HP Snaps Up 3PAR For $2 Billion

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  • First post (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    OM NOM NOM NOM ACQUISITIONS

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tetsujin (103070)

      So I guess it averages out to $666,666,666.67 per PAR?

      • $666,666,666.67 for a PAR? How much would I get for a 20 over par?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Tetsujin (103070)

          $666,666,666.67 for a PAR? How much would I get for a 20 over par?

          $666,666,686.67, obviously...

      • Re:First post (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:06PM (#33421126) Journal

        Am I the only one that sees this "In the cloud" feeding frenzy as just as damned stupid as the "On the Internet" dotbomb we had in the late 90s? After all we are seeing companies throwing insane money on a technology that requires all the ISPs to upgrade their infrastructure and STILL offer fair pricing whereas if we have learned anything from the greedy duopolies is that it is far more likely they will simply install caps rather than let go of any of their precious profits.

        I have a feeling all the "In the cloud" supporters are gonna get a REALLY nasty wake up call when most of the ISPs start capping the hell out of everyone and their customers take one look at their Internet bill and say "screw that!". Betting the farm on someone else, whom you don't control, building the infrastructure your service requires is just plain stupid IMHO. No different than that OnLive or whatever its called betting folks are gonna have enough bandwidth to play AAA quality titles by just streaming the whole thing. Might work in Asia, where 100Mbit connections are the norm, but here in the USA where 2Mbit lines with caps are all too common all this "In the cloud" stuff is gonna blow chunks.

        • by Junta (36770)

          For the most part, on the vendor side it currently makes a fair amount of sense. A lot of money is being currently dropped on the 'cloud' buzzword by the market. Now, the wisdom of the market to be crazy over cloud, that's another story.... I do think HP is awfully optimistic by dropping $2 billion on 3par, hoping to recoup the losses before the market wakes up from the 'cloud' dream.

          You are right that if they want all the video-on-demand, full quality home movie storing, and similar behavior that is re

        • You just explained why the web would fail, btw. How could you build an ecommerce web site when you're depending on someone else to provide the bandwidth?

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            I hate to break the news to you, but we actually shopped during the dialup days. Sure you couldn't cover your ecommerce site with catchy flash animations and crap, but it worked just fine. That is a HELL of a lot different than gobbling up multiGB chunks of bandwidth to push software that will work just as good most of the time as a desktop app. Why do you think Google is putting caching servers with high bandwidth content like Youtube all over the place? because they like to spend money? No, it is because

            • by hab136 (30884)

              No, it is because bandwidth costs are seriously hurting them that's why.

              Last I heard, they used peering to reduce their bandwidth costs for Youtube to near-zero [slashdot.org].

              For all this "In the cloud" dotbomb style stuff to work, we'll probably need a good 3-4 times the bandwidth we have now.

              Google Docs is an "in the cloud" app and doesn't require any excessive amount of bandwidth. Neither will most other apps; they're just web pages to the user, and mostly text at that. Salesforce.com, one of the bigger cloud apps,

      • Considering HPs love story with intel, more like $666,666,666.62985673957938579305887124145678902000239588212278 per PAR
  • by Z_A_Commando (991404) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:28PM (#33419212)
    This article was written two days ago! Dell and 3PAR both confirmed that as part of Dell's original merger agreement (and each successive agreement) Dell has the option to simply match any competing bids. This has hardly been settled, which you'd see if you RTFA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lucas123 (935744)
      Exactly. Nothing's changed from the numerous previous leap-frog bidding between HP and Dell for 3Par. Perhaps they should have people familiar with acquisition writing about them at PC Magazine.
      • by BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:22PM (#33420030)
        Why the dig on PC Magazine? TFA headline is "Sans Dell Match, HP Snaps Up 3PAR for $2 Billion". Sans is French for "without". TFA text continues with "...Dell still maintains the right to match HP's offer if it so chooses..." . So PC Magazine looks spot-on to me.

        The fault lies with the Slashdot submitter, who submitted a bad summary to a 2-day-old article, and with Soulskill who accepted the misleading submission, and with you, Lucas123, for not understanding either TFA or the GP's point that TFA was correct.
        • Unless the author of the PC magazine article was trying to make some funny(?) play on words (sans= multiple storqage area networks 3PAR data storage provider) Just sayin....aw never mind it was stupid anyway.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lucas123 (935744)
          It's a lame story either way. The dig against PC Magazine is for writing something like it was news. There have been six bids for 3Par. What's different about this one? Nothing. It's simply the largest so far. So the headline, while not misleading, gives the reader the expectation that something different than past bids has occurred. It's the same as if when HP bid $1.6 billion last week, PC Magazine had written "Sans Dell bid, HP Snaps Up 3Par." Then when Dell submitted a counter offer writing, "Sans HP Bi
  • Does HP really know what it's doing?

    They paid too much and were in a gambler's frame of mind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by INeededALogin (771371)
      I usually fold well before I'm in for 2 billion.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TamCaP (900777)
      I was thinking the same thing. I have recently finished Graham's book "The Intelligent Investor", and buying a company for $2bn that has not even once generated any profit is like straight out of the chapter "what to watch out for". A very speculative move, especially by a company without a CEO. Not to mention that bidding is not yet completely over, right?
      • by Dumass (602667)
        Maybe they're trying to push Dell into buying at a higher price?
        • by SQLGuru (980662)

          They've already raised the stakes (twice now). Of course, Dell only has to match their offer to "win". It's like a restricted free agent in football. Dell's initial offer included a buyout (I saw 70+ million somewhere) as well as a right to match any other offer.

          • by Dumass (602667)
            Exactly. HP puts up a higher offer, then if Dell is serious, they have to match it. It's a gamble since as AC says below, Dell can just walk away.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by funkatron (912521)

      They paid too much and were in a gambler's frame of mind.

      Gambling addict's frame of mind. This kind of bidding war is really not the way to win at gambling.

    • I don't entirely understand this. 3Par only has $200 million in revenue annually, and they aren't even profitable. They've been losing a million or so every year. So obviously it isn't about the money, it's about the technology: both companies think they can make a lot more money off the technology than 3Par has been.

      But what is so great about 3Par? 3Par is making SANs, which is a growing, hot market, yes, but there are tons of small competitors in the space that have similar or better technology (as far
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642)

        So obviously it isn't about the money, it's about the technology

        Sometimes mergers happen to eliminate the competition. If you axe a $200M competitor, you can probably increase your revenues more than $200M because less competition means higher prices for everyone... Sure they're not going to ten-tuple, but its not going to take $2B/$200M = 10 years to pay for itself. Maybe, like 5 to 7 years?

        Also, sometimes a merger means patents etc that a cheapy competitor couldn't afford to enforce, can now be cashed in.

        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

          by phantomfive (622387) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:06PM (#33419814) Journal
          That's a good point, and in some cases it is true, but I'm not so sure it is here. There are a lot of players in the SAN market, so that $200 Million isn't going all to HP or Dell. It's going to be spread out to a lot of different companies.

          Also, I'm sure you realize this, but it's important to distinguish between revenue and profit. Yes $2B/$200M = 10 years, but they are also spending around $201M every year, so in the end, unless they improve the efficiency of the company, they will have made negative $10M at the end of 10 years. Not a good return on investment.
          • by Daetrin (576516)
            According to an article i read this morning (for which i haven't been able to find the link again, but still looking) 3PAR is the 4th largest player in the SAN market, and all three bigger players are part of much larger corporations that are out of Dell and HP's league. Furthermore cloud computing is projected to have twenty-something percent growth per year for the next several years, so any company in that area (which manages to survive anyways) is going to be worth a lot more a few years down the road t
        • If either HP or Dell was trying to eliminate 3Par as a competitor then wouldn't their purpose have been served by simply letting the other buy them? Do you get into a bidding war to eliminate the competition? Patents would make sense though
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Perhaps there is a patent-folio that we are un-aware of that can crush all the little san mfg's. Just a thought...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shmlco (594907)

        3Par has technology and patents on "light provisioning" systems, that enables disk space to be allocated only when applications need capacity, greatly reducing IT management costs. Think of it as storage on a just-enough and just-in-time basis.

        But basically it's because ex-CEO Hurd killed HP's R&D budget. With no R&D, HP is attempting to buy its way into the next big thing.

        Hurd deserved to go. Killing off R&D to the point where you have to spend billions buying your way back into the game smacks

        • The article suggests that they patented over-committed storage. I don't see how that is unique or different. NetApp does this out of the box, you can make linux do this if you know what you are doing, VMWare, qemu, basically every virtualization solution enables over-commited storage, and many use data dedupe to automatically reclaim storage when images happen to converge.

          I presume there has to be more to it than that, unless they think 3par did it before linux, solaris, and ontap did it, which I doubt...

      • by baffle (144921)

        3PAR makes the best SAN I've ever touched. I use SANs from EMC, HP, IBM and NetApp; 3PAR wins hands down. Only feature I miss is NAS functionality like NetApp.

        I think this was a wise move by HP, as long as they are able to keep key personnel in R&D and not fuck things up.

        HP: Please bury EVA.

        • IBM or not... (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          IBM's storage is rebrand happy.

          If it begins with DS, it's really just Engenio.

          If it begins with N, it's really just NetApp.

          If it begins with DCS, it's really DataDirect.

          If it is XIV, it's really and truly IBM.

          So chances are your SAN experience is just some other not-quite-so-big name in the market with IBM's logo slapped on and either some horrible Director integration attempt or the vendor's tools with IBM's logo on em.

          IBM does do their own servers pretty much across the board, but they haven't exactly bee

          • by baffle (144921)

            Yes, I was mainly thinking about the Engenio rebrands, should have clarified that. DS4300/DS4700/DS4800. As you said N is just NetApp.

        • by GaryOlson (737642)

          ...keep key personnel in R&D and not fuck things up.

          Not possible. My dealings with HP "Enterprise Sales and Service" will make any grown adult seek therapy. The damage done over the past decade to this company will take twice as long to correct. 3PAR as part of HP will be a sad day for the storage industry as innovation gets dispersed by blatant corporatacracy. 3PAR storage in the future will look like EVA in the present in a very short while.

          Note to 3PAR: the wedding is about more than the cost of the ceremony.

      • by Dogers (446369)

        I'd be interested in knowing who you think has better technology. 3PAR and Compellent are very close, technologically and I've not seen anyone else who has anything of the sort those two do.

        • That's why I said 'as far as I can tell' :) I confess I am not an expert in this space, but there are a lot of companies that make SANs. I'm not sure how 3PAR does anything that is too much better. If you say so, it's probably true, but is it $1billion dollars better?
          • by Dogers (446369)

            It's certainly far better than anything else we'd looked at (EMC somethings & HP EVAs at the time). For me, 3PAR had the edge over Compellent, purely based on an ease of use and attitude of their sales/tech guys (they were very down to earth and honest about their produce. They claim this is their culture as they were founded by ex-Sun engineers).

            3PAR and Compellent both do thin provisioning (give your servers 100Gb space even though you only have 50G real - add more disks as needed rather than repartit

    • Lack of leadership at the top maybe? Since they just fired the head honcho I don't know who's running the show. It seems to me that HP has always had issues though.
  • Companies that do mergers are only able to make the aquistion work out about half the time, so it is rarely a good investment. If it is not good for the company then why does it happen?

    Management often gives themselves bonus paychecks and golden chutes abound. I worked for Anthem (health insurance) when the CEO bought someone (forgot who) and he gave himself a $40 million bonus for completing the transaction. It will be the shareholders that get left holding the bag.

    • You know... "Snaps" and "$2 billion" seem a bit odd to see in the same sentence. That is quite the snap.
    • by Blackhalo (572408)
      "Companies that do mergers are only able to make the aquistion work out about half the time, so it is rarely a good investment."

      Where else is that money going to go that would provide and equivalent improvement to revenue, earnings and share price (how XEOs get bonused)? With Treasury yeilds falling like a brick, and the currency and equity markets in turmoil, acquisitions are a no-brainer for boosting share-prices. Add in the facts that you get to keep a competitor from piking up a key element to thei
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Slashdot. is now Slashdot: News For Nerds Or Stuff You Can Read From CNN.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Bye.

    • by vlueboy (1799360) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:12PM (#33419892)

      Slashdot. is now Slashdot: News For Nerds Or Stuff You Can Read From CNN.

      No problem. All newspapers repost the same news from Reuters, AP and EFE at about the same time, and many users complain when the one they subscribe to "leaves them in the dark" on grounds of bothersome redundancy for any news, and might leave to a more "all-encompassing," redundant-ish source. Slashdot is doing us a services, since we don't all read your same other sites and few IT admins ever block slashdot.

      Wasn't slashdot a site meant to TALK about techish news with tech people? Our tech subscriber base is broader and better informed than you'll find on random non-specialized sites. We can post hacks, opinion on the recent wikileak and pr0n related stuff freely here; because it would otherwise leave broadcast a trail through your Facebook account on CNN. Hey, you just posted Anonymously! try THAT on CNN and any chan-free board these days! :)

  • Expect anything that is run in the US or the First World to be offshored. Until HP goes back to the old "HP Way", of course.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642)

      Expect anything that is run in the US or the First World to be offshored. Until HP goes back to the old "HP Way", of course.

      They spun the "old HP" into Agilent in an IPO like 11 years ago. It's not coming back.

      As opposed to if Dell bought them? I'm thinking it doesn't matter which one purchases it, everyone may as well pack their desks.

      Could it be true that regardless of which company bought 3PAR, the same folks in India would get all the jobs?

  • by Intron (870560) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:06PM (#33419804)

    One could even say HP sniped the auction at the last minute

    Bidder........Bid amount........Bid Time
      HP..........$2,000,000,000....Aug-08-10 11:59:59 PDT
      Dell........$39.95............Aug-08-10 10:37:14 PDT
      HP..........$34.95............Aug-08-10 10:18:22 PDT
      Dell........$24.95............Aug-08-10 9:45:12 PDT
      HP..........$19.95............Aug-08-10 7:06:23 PDT

  • eBay 101 (Score:5, Funny)

    by leromarinvit (1462031) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:19PM (#33419990)
    Someone needs to teach HP some basic eBay skills. A bidding war doesn't make sense if you're going to snipe anyway. The point of sniping is not letting anybody know beforehand that you're interested in the item!
    • by Daetrin (576516)
      I hope you're joking. There's no such think as sniping in a bidding war like this. 3PAR _always_ has the option to go back to the other bidders and solicit another bid. In fact if you check TFA or some of the earlier posts, part of the Dell's initial bid included an agreement that they would be allowed to match any other bids tendered by other companies.

      I'm really surprised that ebay hasn't come up with any kind of similar system. An option that could be chosen by the person auctioning the item where any

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