Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) makes external and internal hard-disk and solid-state drives for a wide range of IT products, from laptops to servers. Its data storage product portfolio ranges from 3.5-inch computer drives to solid-state drives for such applications as database analytics and cloud computing. HGST sells through distributors such as Ingram Micro and Arrow Electronics. The company has development and manufacturing operations in Asia and North America. Hitachi sold HGST to Western Digital in 2012 for about $4.3 billion in cash and stock.
The deal gave Hitachi a 10% stake in Western Digital along with board representation and $3.5 billion in cash. Combining HGST's disk drives for servers and solid-state drive businesses with Western Digital's traditional PC-based disk drives creates a leader in the market, with significant market share in terms of global shipments and one of the broadest product and technology portfolios in the industry. It also gives Western Digital its first manufacturing foothold in China and the Philippines. Hitachi had initially planned on an IPO for HGST, which had become profitable after five years of losses, as part of its strategy to concentrate on its infrastructure businesses. The deal would have been a way for Hitachi to cash out of its investment in HGST more quickly.
In 2009 HGST acquired Fabrik, a provider of data storage devices and software. The purchase of Fabrik added external storage drives to HGST's product portfolio. The company also acquired a media substrate manufacturing facility in Malaysia from Western Digital, a rival at the time.
HGST was formed in 2003 when Hitachi acquired IBM's disk drive business and combined it with its own. Western Digital plans to change the company's name to Viviti Technologies Ltd.
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