SanDisk Swipes Enterprise SSD Maker for $327 Million

SanDisk, a player in the flash memory storage business, just announced a definitive agreement to acquire Pliant Technology, a leading developer of enterprise solid state drives, for a cool $327 million in cash. The deal has already been approved by the board of directors of both companies and is now just pending regulatory review and approval.

"Flash memory is making significant inroads into the enterprise by dramatically increasing application performance and reducing power consumption," said Sanjay Mehrotra, SanDisk president and chief executive officer. "We believe that the combination of Pliant's innovative technology and enterprise-level system expertise with SanDisk's high-quality, large-scale MLC memory production is a winning value proposition for customers. Our advanced flash technology roadmap and flash management capability will complement Pliant's strengths and allow us to lead the way in reliability and performance in the Enterprise SSD market."

It's also a well timed move. As market research firm Gartner figures it, the enterprise SSD market is going to be worth $4.2 billion in 2015, up from $994 million in 2010. If a company's going to make a move, now's the time to do it.

Pliant, if you're not familiar with them (and most desktop users wouldn't be), focuses mainly on high-performance enterprise SSDs based on the SAS protocol. At one point, Pliant was only kicking out single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash drives, but as of last fall began using less expensive multi-level cell (MCL) NAND chips in its enterprise drives.