The writing has been on the wall for a while, and the axe has finally swung. OCZ is filing for bankruptcy. The SSD maker failed to comply with the terms of its loan agreement with Hercules Technology Growth Capital, which has “disbursed the cash in [OCZ’s] respective accounts to accounts under the control of Hercules.”
According to the press release posted on Market Watch, Toshiba has made an offer to acquire “substantially all of [OCZ’s] assets in a bankruptcy proceeding.” The firms seem to have agreed on a deal, but it’s subject to numerous conditions, including Toshiba’s offer being accepted by the bankruptcy court as the “highest and best offer under the circumstances.” OCZ will formally file for bankruptcy after working out “final documentation” with Toshiba and Hercules. If the Toshiba deal falls through, OCZ will continue with bankruptcy proceedings and liquidate its assets. It’s unclear whether any other suitors have an interest in purchasing the remnants of OCZ.
Although the company has a checkered past, OCZ deserves some credit for helping to popularize SSDs. Its aggressive discounting practices touched off a price war that delivered some fantastic deals, especially last year. However, those discounts probably weren’t good for the company’s bottom line. OCZ is also responsible for the mistrust some folks have of SSDs. Early problems with the Vertex 2 and other drives didn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
Surprisingly, OCZ was named to Deloitte’s list of Technology Fast 500 (PDF) companies just last week. That list ranks the “fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and clean technology companies” in North America, but it’s based on revenue growth between 2008 and 2012. As Seeking Alpha points out, OCZ financial statements during that period weren’t entirely accurate.