3Par Surges Over HP's Takeover Price

Investors are betting that Dell comes back with an even richer offer for the cloud storage specialist.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --Sensing a bidding war between

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

and

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

, investors sent

3Par

(PAR) - Get Report

shares up well above the current $24-a-share takeover price.

Cloud storage specialist 3Par was up 3% in early trading Tuesday. At these levels, 3Par is trading 12% above the $24 a share, all-cash offer

HP proposed Monday

-- a clear sign that traders are betting that Dell will come back with an increased purchase price.

And to that end,

Bloomberg

reported late Monday that

Dell was considering a new offer for 3Par

, but no details or timeline was known.

Shares of 3Par have surged 49% since Hewlett-Packard bested Dell's $1.1 billion original bid Monday. HP's all-cash offer of $1.5 billion was a third more than Dell originally proposed.

HP and Dell are under pressure to add more products to the data storage and network server lineups. The 3Par cloud storage specialty would give the PC giants a better chance to play in a market that is shifting away from office server equipment to more Web-based storage services.

While the value of 3Par has now inflated by half, the price is well within the affordable range for the two computer giants. As of January, Dell had $10.6 billion in cash and HP had $14.1 billion in the bank in April.

The push to expand to cloud storage services is largely driven by frugal IT spending. Companies are weighing whether to investment in more hardware in the office or simply buy Web-based storage at a better rate.

Both Dell and HP also face growth challenges and intense price competition from lower-cost PC rivals like Taiwan's

Acer

and

Asus

.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.