Western Digital has announced that it's buying SanDisk for one giant pile of cash: $19 billion. The combination of the two companies will allow WD to transform “into a storage solutions company with global scale,” said the press release of the announcement.
Steve Milligan, CEO of Western Digital, will continue to serve the same position for the combined company, and it is thought that Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of SanDisk will join the board of directors.
“Western Digital will double its addressable market and expand its participation in higher-growth segments,” the statement continued. One of these higher-growth segments is likely to include the SSD market. SanDisk is currently a big supplier of solid state drives and NAND flash memory, which Western Digital will be able to integrate into its own business. SanDisk has been in a partnership with Toshiba for its NAND flash memory, and this joint venture will be ongoing, according to the press release.
Western Digital is dominant in spinning disk hard drives, which are still the go-to for large quantities of files. But as the storage industry moves more towards solid state, WD will face stiffer competition from giants like Samsung, which recently launched 2TB versions of its 850 EVO SSD. Picking up another major flash player like SanDisk could mean big things for future storage wars.