WD coughs up $4.3bn for HGST


WD coughs up $4.3bn for HGST

Microscope contributor

Western Digital has tabled a bid of $4.25m (£2.6bn) to acquire Hitachi Global Storage Technologies ending the Japanese HDD vendor's previous preparations for an IPO.

The offer includes $3.5m i(£2.15bn) in cash and 25 million WD common shares valued at $750m based on the stock price of just over $30 at end of trading on 4 March.

WD CEO and President John Coyne, said the move would result in "Enhanced R&D capabilities, innovation and expansion of a rich product portfolio, comprehensive market coverage and scale that will enhance our cost structure."

Corporate HQ will continue to be based in California with Coyne remaining at the top of the management tree though relinquishing the president's title to HGST CEO Steve Milligan. Tim Leyon will remain COO and Wolfgang Nick as CFO.

In fiscal 2010, WD made profits of $1.4bn compared to $470m a year earlier on the back of a 32% rise in sales to $9.8bn. Hitachi did not break out the numbers for HGST. Market leader Seagate made profits of $1.7bn on sales of $11.3bn.

The nine UK distributors for WD include Avnet TS and Hammer as VADs; C2000, Ingram Micro and Micro P as broadline partners; CU is a retail wholesaler: Microtronica is an enterprise distributor and VIP and Enta are sub-distributors. 

This compares to the four partners that have been used by HGST - Micro P, Avnet, Ingram Micro and Hammer.

Channel sources reckon WD's attraction in HGST centred on its enterprise business which was "giving Seagate more than a run for its money".

IDC predicted last summer that HDD shipments for enterprise applications will climb from 40.5 million units in 2009 to 52.6 million in 2014.

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