Flash: Samsung Makes Play for SanDisk

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print


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The South Korean electronics giant is offering $5.85 billion for the American flash memory card maker. A sealed deal will further consolidate the market dominated by Samsung and Toshiba.

A stalwart of the Silicon Valley storage market may soon be gone in a flash. SanDisk, the maker of flash memory cards for consumer and enterprise devises, is renewing talks with Samsung to be acquired for $5.85 billion.

According to published reports, Samsung made the unsolicited offer in August. The initial overture was rejected by SanDisk because it felt Samsung undervalued the company. SanDisk reported gross revenues of nearly $3.9 billion annually.

Under pressure by sagging stock price and suppressed flash memory market, Samsung rekindled talked with Samsung while also seeking a buyer that would give it a higher valuation. Disk drive manufacturer Seagate Technologies was seen as one possible suitor. However, the New York Times reports that Seagate is ruling itself out of consideration.

Samsung is an interesting suitor for SanDisk. While the $14 billion flash memory market is dominated by Samsung and Toshiba, SanDisk is one of the most vibrant innovators in flash technology. Samsung pays SanDisk more than $400 million annually for licenses to its patents.

Much of SanDisk’s revenue comes from its OEM relationships, supplying electronics manufacturers with flash memory cards for everything from digital cameras to MP3 music players. SanDisk sells to midsized and enterprise businesses through distributors and channel partners. It has relationships with Arrow Electronics, Bell Microproducts and Avnet.

Earlier this year, SanDisk entered the security market with Cruzer Enterprise, a high-capacity flash memory stick that automatically encrypts data. Separating Cruzer from competing products is its centralized management console that enables businesses to apply policies that compel the use of the encrypted device. 

Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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