Western Digital Acquires SanDisk In $19 Billion Move Towards Solid State

Many photographers probably use SanDisk SD cards to save their photographs and Western Digital external hard drives to store them at home—but now the two companies will partner together to form the largest data storage companies in the world.

Western Digital currently claims that they have a 44% market share for HDDs, and SanDisk are the world’s largest producer of NAND flash memory.

In fall of 2015, Western Digital announced plans to buy SanDisk, and last week they completed their acquisition of the flash manufacturer. Western Digital has long been reliant on spinning disk technology, as many of their competitors move towards solid state drives.

Sanjay Mehrotra, the co-founder, president and chief executive officer of SanDisk, will serve as a member of the Western Digital Board of Directors, while Steve Milligan will continue to serve as chief executive officer of Western Digital.

Western Digital spent $17 billion in cash and shares to buy SanDisk, which was $2 billion short of initial estimates.

The move should significantly strengthen both companies, as they can combine their research and development budgets, logistics, and manufacturing capabilities. Taking into account economies of scale, the company expects to save a significant amount in the coming years, so the move will only strengthen their position.

Western Digital had an annual revenue of US$14.57 billion in 2015, while last year SanDisk took home US$5.565 billion. Together, their total revenue will give them greater firepower as they seek to take on Samsung and Micron.