The SanDisk Corporation is one of the best well known memory card manufacturers as used in digital cameras and smartphones all over the world. Indeed, one could say that SanDisk are responsible for many of our favourite memories as are videos and pictures are often recorded and placed onto a memory card over the last nearly thirty years. SanDisk don’t just make memory cards but have been building enterprise-grade laptop hard drives and original equipment memory modules for Apple and NVIDIA, to name drop just two customers.
Western Digital are the world’s largest storage manufacturer, manufacturing a range of network, portable and traditional computer hard drives. Last October the company announced a decision to buy SanDisk in a deal worth around $19 billion. Today, the two companies have announced that the acquisition has now passed all regulatory hurdles: in a statement, SanDisk said, “We are pleased that the final regulatory approval has been received and we can now proceed with the planned combination with Western Digital.” The transaction is expected to close tomorrow, Thursday, May 12, 2016 as SanDisk stockholders have already voted to approve the transaction in mid-March.
Although both SanDisk and Western Digital are American businesses with headquarters in California, the final regulatory approval arrived from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The two businesses had been waiting for this since before the time of the investor vote in March. The merger has received positive attention as making strategic sense for both companies. Western Digital’s successful flash chip business was suffering from an overhang from the sort of high capacity, high performance portable memory cards – plus a slowdown in traditional PC and laptop sales for both consumer and enterprise customers. SanDisk is better known for consumer memory cards and smaller solid state drives but despite the component business, has limited exposure to the corporate and enterprise businesses. This is where Western Digital can help as this is their strongest area. Combined revenue for both businesses in 2015 is estimated at around $20 billion and going forwards, Western Digital has forecast cost savings between the two businesses of approximately $500 million, excluding any tax savings. Other industry experts have forecast that the total cost savings for the first year could be as high as $1.1 billion.