3Par is starting talks with Hewlett-Packard following the bid of $1.6bn the tech giant tabled earlier this week but is giving Dell the option of coming back with a counter bid.
The battle between HP and Dell to acquire the storage player has stepped up since HP offered a superior bid for 3Par on Monday after it had looked like Dell's acquisition of $1.5bn was heading through.
If the HP bid is endorsed by the 3Par board then Dell will be given three working days to come back with another offer but there is a fair bit of discussion to get through first.
"3Par intends to engage in discussions with HP promptly regarding its unsolicited acquisition proposal," it stated in an SEC filing adding that if it agreed HP's offer was superior then it would give "Dell three business days to negotiate an amendment to its Merger Agreement".
But in a the SEC filing the current situation seems to be favouring Dell with the board not showing an instant move to back the HP offer.
"At this time, the board of directors of 3Par has not made a determination that HP's unsolicited acquisition proposal is a "Superior Proposal" (as that term is defined in the Merger Agreement), and has not made any other determinations or taken any other actions with respect to HP's acquisition proposal," the filing said.
"The board of directors of 3PAR continues to unanimously recommend that 3Par's stockholders accept the Offer by Dell and tender their Shares pursuant to the Offer by Dell," it added.