Stop us if you've heard this before: Dell says 3Par has agreed to a buyout proposal. And Hewlett-Packard has made a counteroffer.
On Friday morning, Dell announced that storage company 3Par had accepted Dell's third acquisition offer, this one at $27 per share, putting the total value of the cash offer at about $1.8 billion.
That bid matched a counteroffer from HP, which came Thursday afternoon.
But wait! Two hours after Dell boosted its bid, HP did the same--it's now offering $30 a share. For those more interested in big, round numbers, HP's hot-off-the-presses offer Friday morning would put the total value of a 3Par acquisition at about $2 billion.
Dell and HP are both interested in 3Par for the storage and data management savvy it would bring to their cloud-computing offerings for enterprise customers.
The Dell-3Par agreement includes provisions that allow Dell to match competing bids.
On Thursday, HP offered $27 per share for 3Par in response to Dell's second proposal, at $24.30.
The bidding war got under way after Dell's initial offer earlier this month to buy 3Par for $18 per share, or about $1.15 billion total. A week later, HP countered with a bid of $24 per share.
Both Dell and HP continue to expect that the deal--whichever one eventually comes to fruition--will close before year's end.
See also: David Scott of 3Par, take a victory lap
Update 6:48 a.m. PDT: Story now includes information about HP's latest counteroffer.