Western Digital and SanDisk merger.
Since CDR – Manchester Data Recovery Services – started trading in 2006 there have a number of hard disk manufacturers which have acquired other companies. Notably, Seagate acquired Maxtor (2006), and then Samsung drives (2011), Toshiba acquired Fujitsu (2009) and Western Digital acquired Hitachi GST (2012).
Last month Western Digital followed Seagate in acquiring a company which specialises in the manufacture of flash NAND based storage. In March 2016 Western Digital Corp. (WD) has announced that its shareholders voted to approve its $19 billion acquisition of SanDisk Corp.
Access to flash NAND (SSD) technology
It seems clear that the giant hard disk manufacturers of Seagate and Western Digital have made the decision that it is critical to be able to provide flash NAND storage (solid state disks, memory cards, memory sticks etc.). Toshiba, the only other remaining hard disk manufacturer, already have flash NAND storage technology and are one of the largest manufacturers of NAND chips.
According to the official press release:
“Western Digital will double its addressable market and expand its participation in higher-growth segments.”
When the corporations join, WD expects to increase SSD/NAND exposure from 6 per cent to 32 per cent of total sales. Right now, SanDisk has over 3,000 engineers worldwide and over 6,500 patents/applications, while Western Digital employs almost 10,000 engineers and also has over 10,000 patents and applications.