Western Digital To Purchase Flash Storage Giant SanDisk For $19 Billion

Western Digital today entered into a definitive agreement to purchase flash storage outfit SanDisk for approximately $19 billion. This follows a previous reported that SanDisk was in talks with both Western Digital and Micron about a potential sale, though at the time it was unclear if there were any offers on the table.

Chalk this up as a big win for Western Digital as we progress further into the flash storage era. The acquisition gives Western Digital vertical integration into NAND flash memory, which should provide immunity against market fluctuations in the price of memory chips. Western Digital says the acquisition also effectively doubles its addressable market and expands its participation in higher growth segments.

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"This transformational acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to be an innovative leader in the storage industry by providing compelling, high-quality products with leading technology," said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer, Western Digital. "The combined company will be ideally positioned to capture the growth opportunities created by the rapidly evolving storage industry. I'm excited to welcome the SanDisk team as we look to create additional value for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees."

Steve Milligan will stay in his role as CEO when the ink dries and the two companies merge. SanDisk boss Sanjay Mehrotra is expected to join Western Digital's board of directors, assuming SanDisk shareholders approve the deal (and it's hard to imagine them not doing so) and regulatory hurdles don't get in the way.