Samsung Mulls Selling Hard Disk Drive Business

The suits over at Samsung have an important decision to make. Should the company hang onto its hard disk drive (HDD) business even though it's losing money and hope for greener pastures on the horizon, or cut its losses by selling off the unit and using the cash to invest in other areas? Citing "a person familiar with the matter," this is what Samsung's decision makers are currently discussing, The Wall Street Journal reports.

If Samsung decides to sell, it hopes to raise about $1.5 billion, though the un-named source says the company would consider low-ball offers under $1 billion. Samsung would then most likely shuttle those funds over to its memory chips and liquid crystal display (LCD) divisions.

As of the fourth quarter, Samsung held about an 11 percent share of the HDD market and has been losing money in it. One reason for this is that the emerging tablet market, and Apple's iPad in particular, has been cutting into the growth of notebook sales, which are major consumers of HDDs. Tablets, on the other hand, typically use flash memory based storage.

It's unclear if there are any potential suitors to Samsung's hard drive division. In March of this year, Western Digital scooped up Hitachi's HDD business for around $4.3 billion in cash and stock, and now owns about half the HDD market. Seagate, meanwhile, claims about a 29 percent share.