WESTERN DIGITAL HAS acquired flash storage company SanDisk in a deal worth $19bn.
The announcement follows days of speculation after it emerged that SanDisk had taken on a bank as an advisor over its intention to put itself up for sale.
Western Digital was one of the front-running candidates, alongside rival SSD manufacturer Micron. In the end, it was the traditional mechanical drive manufacturer that won out, buying SanDisk for $86.50 per share in a combination of cash, debt financing and stock.
The result will see SanDisk sit alongside the existing WD and HGST brands, and will enable Western Digital to "vertically integrate into NAND, securing long-term access to solid state technology at lower cost".
"This transformational acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to be an innovative leader in the storage industry by providing compelling, high-quality products with leading technology," said Steve Milligan, chief executive of Western Digital.
"The combined company will be ideally positioned to capture the growth opportunities created by the rapidly evolving storage industry. I'm excited to welcome the SanDisk team as we look to create additional value for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees."
Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief executive of SanDisk, added: "Western Digital is globally recognised as a leading provider of storage solutions and has a 45-year legacy of developing and manufacturing cutting-edge solutions, making the company the ideal strategic partner for SanDisk.
"Importantly, this combination also creates an even stronger partner for our customers. Joining forces with Western Digital will enable the combined company to offer the broadest portfolio of industry-leading, innovative storage solutions to customers across a wide range of markets and applications."
The announcement confirms that SanDisk's long-term joint venture with Toshiba, which has seen the two companies co-design technologies such as their version of 3D NAND and fabricate them at a jointly owned plant, will continue unaffected as it is said to represent a time-tested business model.
The company will also have access to SanDisk's recent co-venture with HP into storage class memory technologies.
The transaction is subject to the full agreement of shareholders and organisations with which both companies' debts will be reorganised. µ
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