3PAR will open discussions with Hewlett-Packard following that company's unsolicited $1.6 billion cash bid for the data storage maker, which exceeded an earlier bid from Dell.
3PAR plans to share non-public information with HP, according to a filing on Tuesday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Dell, which bid $1.15 billion for 3PAR on Aug. 16, has been informed of the talks and will have three days to make a counteroffer if 3PAR endorses HP's bid.
HP sent its offer in a letter to 3PAR, forcing that company board to reconsider its merger agreement with Dell, which it continues to endorse. However, 3PAR's board may consider HP's offer a "superior proposal," putting pressure on Dell to increase its bid or lose out to HP.
HP has said that 3PAR's technologies will help it expand its offerings for building public and private cloud services. Many enterprises are using cloud services, where computing and data storage are done in remote data centers.
Dell also has its eye on that market and recently announced it would buy server provisioning vendor Scalent and storage optimization provider Ocarina Networks.
3PAR sells InServ storage servers in addition to its InForm Operating System with tools required to managed different storage configurations.