We're firmly of the belief that SSDs are our future and Samsung would seem to agree. The Korean electronics giant has just announced that it's selling its hard disk drive-manufacturing arm to Seagate Technology for a neat $1.375 billion in equal measures of cash and stocks. As a result, Samsung Electronics will own approximately 9.6 percent of Seagate and get to nominate one new member to join Seagate's Board of Directors, while the two companies have further agreed to deepen their strategic relationship with related cross-licensing and supply stipulations. Samsung will provision Seagate's solid state drives with NAND flash memory, whereas Seagate will furnish Samsung's PCs and consumer electronics products with hard disk storage. The deal is expected to complete in full by year's end and you can read all about it in Seagate's press release after the break.

[Thanks, Pavel]
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Seagate and Samsung Announce Broad Strategic Alignment

Samsung to Combine Hard Disk Drive Operations into Seagate

Companies to Enter Into Extensive Supply and Cross-Licensing Agreements

Samsung to Receive Significant Equity Ownership in Seagate


SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - April 19, 2011 - Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), the world leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in digital consumer electronics and information technology, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Seagate and Samsung will significantly expand and strengthen their strategic relationship by further aligning their respective ownership, investments and key technologies. Major elements of the agreement include:

Samsung combining its hard disk drive (HDD) operations into Seagate

Extending and enhancing the existing patent cross-license agreement between the companies

A NAND flash memory supply agreement under which Samsung will provide Seagate with its market-leading semiconductor products for use in Seagate's enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), solid state hybrid drives and other products

A disk drive supply agreement under which Seagate will supply disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics

Expanded cooperation between the companies to co-develop enterprise storage solutions

Samsung receiving significant equity ownership in Seagate

A shareholder agreement under which an executive of Samsung will be nominated to join Seagate's Board of Directors

The combined value of these transactions and agreements is approximately $1.375 billion USD, which will be paid by Seagate to Samsung in the form of 50% stock and 50% cash.

These transactions and related strategic agreements will enable both companies to better align their current and future product development efforts and roadmaps, accelerate time-to-market for new products and position the companies to better address rapidly evolving opportunities in markets including, but not limited to, mobile computing, cloud computing and solid state storage. In connection with its strategic alliance with Samsung, Seagate expects also to strengthen its relationship with TDK Corporation/SAE Magnetics (H.K.) Ltd. Together, these transactions and agreements broaden a strategic relationship between Seagate and Samsung that began with a joint development agreement announced in August 2010.

"We are pleased to strengthen our strategic relationship with Samsung in a way that better aligns both companies around technologies and products," said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. "With these agreements, we expect to achieve greater scale and deliver a broader range of innovative storage products and solutions to our customers, while facilitating our long-term relationship with Samsung."

Seagate expects these transactions and agreements to be meaningfully accretive to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share and cash flow within the first full year following the closing, and Seagate does not expect any material restructuring costs in connection with them.

"Delivering value to the market and consumers is the primary goal of the extensive agreement announced today. Samsung looks forward to extending our existing strategic ties with Seagate, to deliver creative technology solutions for a broad diversity of consumer, business and industrial applications," said Oh-hyun, Kwon, president of the semiconductor business of Samsung Electronics.

The transactions and agreements significantly expand Seagate's customer access in China and Southeast Asia. In addition, the mutual supply agreements enable Seagate to secure an important source of leading-edge NAND flash supply as the company expands its SSD and solid state hybrid product offerings, and position Seagate to be a more significant supplier of disk drives to Samsung. The agreement also gives Samsung a significant ownership position in Seagate.

Under the terms of the agreement, Samsung will receive consideration consisting of 50% Seagate ordinary shares and 50% cash. Upon closing, Samsung will receive Seagate ordinary shares valued at $687.5 million (45.2 million shares, or approximately 9.6% ownership of Seagate, which is based on Seagate's 30-day volume weighted average stock price prior to signing), plus $687.5 million in cash. Samsung will have a right to designate a nominee to join Seagate's Board of Directors following closing.

The agreement has no financing contingencies, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including review by U.S. and international regulators. The transactions are expected to close by the end of calendar year 2011.

Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated served as financial advisor and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation served as legal advisor to Seagate in connection with the transaction. Allen & Company LLC served as financial advisor and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP served as legal advisor to Samsung.

Conference Call

Seagate will host a conference call at 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time to discuss the transaction. In addition, Seagate will discuss its third quarter 2011 financial results on the same call.