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Data Center and Critical Infrastructure

SanDisk Grabs Fusion-io in Billion-Dollar Storage Deal

19 June 2014

Flash memory company SanDisk Corp. is set to buy solid-state drive (SSD) and I/O acceleration pioneer Fusion-io, in a deal valued at $1.1 billion.

Fusion-io (Salt Lake City Utah) was founded in December 2005 and launched its first product in 2007 and achieved rapid success providing high-speed memory subsystems for enterprise and larger-scale data centers, leading to an initial public offering in 2011. The company is also well known hiring Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 2009 as chief scientist.

SanDisk has offered to buy all the outstanding shares in Fusion-io for $11.25 per share with cash available on its balance sheet. The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance from relevant regulatory authorities and the completion of the tender offer. It is expected that the transaction will close in the third quarter.

Fusion-io stock was trading at below $9.50 prior to the announcement of the deal but the share price leapt to trade at around $11.50 on the announcement of the deal. This means that SanDisk's offer is now worth less than Fusion-io's market capitalization of about $1.25 billion.

As an example of the progess made by Fusion-io made, in 2009 it announced that IBM would build something called the High IOPS Adapter around the Fusion-io ioMemory technology, to help database, application and system administrators better architect data centers. This would be used by IBM in its System X servers. The NAND flash memory based storage was said to be responsible for 1 percent of the power consumption and cooling costs of traditional spinning drives.

"Fusion-io will accelerate our efforts to enable the flash-transformed data center, helping companies better manage increasingly heavy data workloads at a lower total cost of ownership," said Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of SanDisk, in a statement.

Shane Robison joined Fusion-io in May 2013 as chairman and CEO at the time of the departure of cofounders David Flynn, former CEO, and Rick White, who had been chief marketing officer. A number of engineers have left to join Facebook during the following year according to reports.

"This transaction represents a compelling opportunity for Fusion-io’s employees, customers and shareholders," said Robison, in a statement. "Fusion-io’s innovative hardware and software solutions will be augmented by SanDisk’s worldwide scale and vertical integration, enabling a combined company that can offer an even more compelling value proposition for customers and partners."

Related links and articles:

www.sandisk.com

News articles:

Seagate Buys LSI Flash Businesses from Avago

STT-MRAM Will Hit Volume in 2014, Says Everspin

SSD Market Scores Big in Q1, Especially in Ultrabooks and PC Tablets



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