WD-SanDisk acquisition clears final regulatory hurdle

Back in October of last year, Western Digital announced its intent to buy SanDisk for $19 billion. While the road to completing that acquisition has been rocky, it looks as though the two companies have cleared the last of the hurdles keeping the deal from going through. SanDisk reports that it has received approval from the Ministry of Commerce of China to allow the deal to go forward. The two companies expect to close the deal May 12, 2016.

Back in February, it looked like this deal might fall through. Western Digital had initially expected a $3.7 billion equity investment from Unis United as part of the deal, but Unis backed out when the US Committee on Foreign Investment announced that it would investigate the transaction. After the Unis investment fell through, Western Digital re-affirmed its commitment to the SanDisk deal, citing industry trends toward flash-based storage. Western Digital and SanDisk's shareholders have already approved the deal.

Western Digital has never had much of a presence in the SSD market—historically, it's focused on hard drives. Not only does Western Digital gain access to an existing line of SSDs through its purchase of SanDisk, but also to a NAND purchasing deal that SanDisk already has in place with Toshiba. 

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