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Dell, in an SEC filing on Monday, said that it and 3PAR in late 2009 and early 2010 explored a potential reseller agreement, but after discussions decided not to move forward.
Dell, however, was not the first to propose an acquisition of 3PAR.
3PAR, in an SEC filing on Monday, said that David Scott, president and CEO of 3PAR, held an informal discussion in May with executives of "Company A" about a possible commercial relationship, at which time Company A executives requested 3PAR to contact it if 3PAR were to consider being acquired by another company.
Scott on May 7 held an informal meeting with Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell, and Dave Johnson, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Dell, about broader commercial relationships between the two companies.
A second company, "Company B," on July 8 contacted Scott to discuss a possible acquisition of 3PAR. The two on July 13 entered into a mutual non-disclosure agreement.
"Company B" is widely believed to be HP.
Management teams from 3PAR and Company B met on July 14 and July 15 to discuss a potential acquisition. Scott on July 14 met with the CEO of Company B, at which time that CEO said Company B was serious about acquiring 3PAR.
3PAR's Board of Directors met to discuss Company B's inquires, and the Board, acting on the suggestion of its outside legal counsel, directed its outside financial advisor to contact two other companies which might be interested in acquiring 3PAR, including Dell and Company A.
Scott on July 16 contacted Dell and Company A about the possibility acquiring 3PAR, and got favorable responses. 3PAR also contacted another company, "Company C," about interest in an acquisition of 3PAR, but received a negative response.
Dell and 3PAR signed a confidentiality agreement on July 17, while Company A and 3PAR signed a similar agreement on July 19.
Next: "Company B" Makes Its Move, But Dell Gets Official First Nod