Western Digital Acquires Hitachi Hard Drive Unit
The number of companies making computer hard drives is dropping by one, as Western Digital–the industry’s largest player–agreed to acquire Hitachi GST, the hard drive unit of the Japanese electronics concern Hitachi for $4.3 billion in cash and stock. Western Digital will pay $3.5 billion in cash and issue 25 million shares to Hitachi, giving it a stake worth about 10 percent of Western Digital’s equity. Steve Milligan, president and chief executive of Hitachi GST, will become Western Digital’s president. Hitachi bought IBM’s hard drive business for $2 billion in 2003. The deal follows an attempt by Western Digital to buy rival Seagate, though, as Bloomberg News reported at the time, the approach failed over concerns that the combination wouldn’t pass muster with antitrust regulators. Seagate also turned down an offer to go private from TPG Capital last year.