It’s official: Western Digital now owns SanDisk
Note: This article was first published on May 13.
Western Digital has announced that it has completed the acquisition of flash memory manufacturer SanDisk, effectively transforming one of the world’s largest storage manufacturers into a comprehensive storage solutions provider with expertise in both rotating magnetic storage and non-volatile memory.
The purchase agreement has actually been in the works for a while now. It was first unveiled last October as a US$19 billion deal, but Chinese company Unisplendour, which originally planned to buy a 15 percent stake in WD as part of the merger, backed out in February. This effectively lowered the value of the deal to around US$16 billion, although WD reiterated at the time that it remained confident that the SanDisk acquisition was the right move.
In a press release finalizing the acquisition, WD said that the integration process between both companies would begin immediately. Current WD CEO Steve Milligan will also continue to serve in the same capacity, while Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder, president, and CEO of SanDisk, will now serve on WD’s Board of Directors.
The deal is a win-win situation for both parties. SanDisk has found itself squeezed by falling SSD prices and increasing competition from companies like Samsung and Micron, so the merger would allow it to take advantage of WD’s resources and capitalize on the growing prevalence of SSDs in consumer laptops. On WD’s part, it is now better equipped to play in the SSD market, especially as regular mechanical hard drives – which have traditionally comprised the bulk of its business – become obsolete.
Source: Western Digital