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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    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    All good thinks come to an end. Looks like my Extreme Pro SSD will be my last from them.

      • Arclight
      • 3 years ago

      things*

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 3 years ago

    SanDisk had become the next Samsung for me vis-a-vie SSD’s. Remember way back before Samsung decided they’d upcharge everything include their TLC drives? Back before they got too big for their britches and used their complete control of the production pipeline (from NAND all the way through manufacturing and distribution) to sell SSD’s at obscene value to the consumer?

    That was SanDisk today. Well, today until WD bought them.

    Now we can expect the same loving treatment WD gives to all its purchases. That is, none at all.

    RIP SanDisk. It was nice while it lasted.

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    SanDisk isn’t just another SSD maker. They have a lot of IP related to NAND, including some of the fundamental patents. They also have products outside the consumer realm (data center) which aren’t sexy but are probably a more reliable profit stream, particularly for an HD maker like WD which really only has a future in the data center anyway.

    Of course SanDisk is probably best known for what might be called “consumer embedded” — SD cards, media players, etc — but that’s a [i<]very[/i<] volatile market.

      • Arclight
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]that's a very volatile market.[/quote<] Which is ironic, because storage isn't.

    • Ushio01
    • 3 years ago

    This is the third SSD maker WD has bought the last two failed after lack of investment lets see what happens this time (Siliconsystems and Hitachi where the previous ones).

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 3 years ago

      Nothing ever seems to happen with these companies once WD owns them. I think this is actually part of a super duper secret plan WD has to buy up every SSD company and then torpedo them. In ten years when we’re all using hard drives again and confused about what happened to all the SSD companies…

      …we’ll know. WD bought and ruined them into obscurity.

    • sweatshopking
    • 3 years ago

    I’m really ok with these companies being separate. I’m not a huge fan of the ever increasing giants all owning the universe of everything always.

      • Anovoca
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t love this. I don’t hate this. Buying into a market is a lot easier to support than buying up the market

        • srg86
        • 3 years ago

        It’s just history repeating its self, Western Digital bought themselves into the Hard Drive business by buying Tandon’s hard drive division back in the late 1980s.

      • nanoflower
      • 3 years ago

      I tend to agree but in this case I think it’s a bit different as it is WD getting into a product line that it has to have for the future. Without a SSD product line there really isn’t a long term future for WD as HDs will become less relevant as time goes by and SSds become larger and cheaper until they can eventually replace HDs. It’s a hell of a lot easier to purchase a company that already makes SSDs and has the distribution in place than it is to design, build, market a new line of SSDs with the WD brand.

        • Waco
        • 3 years ago

        The WD brand will definitely go away as they’ve ceded all enterprise drives to Hitachi. Consumer uses for HDDs are waning, except for NAS boxes, and they can generally use anything.

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