Western Digital acquires Hitachi GST in serious enterprise SSD play

Monday, storage and network hardware company Western Digital announced that it will be acquiring Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $3.5 billion in cash and 25 million WD common shares.

The total transaction will be approximately $4.3 billion, and Hitachi GST president and CEO Steve Milligan will join Western Digital as president under the company's current CEO John Coyne.

Hitachi GST's products include internal and external storage solutions for desktop, mobile, consumer electronics, enterprise, and industrial environments. Just about four months ago, however, the company unveiled its first line of solid state drives for the enterprise, which it began developing though a partnership with Intel back in 2008. According to Intel, the 34nm NAND flash-based Ultrastar line is the world's first jointly-developed SAS and FC enterprise-class SSDs.

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In 2009, Western Digital made its own move into the enterprise SSD sector when it acquired California-based company SiliconSystems for $65 million. That acquisition gave WD its first memory-based products, and today's acquisition of Hitachi GST gives the company a complete enterprise SSD product line.

"Together we can provide customers worldwide with the industry's most compelling and diverse set of products and services, from innovative personal storage to solid state drives for the enterprise," Hitachi GST's Milligan said on Monday.

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