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Tandberg Bags Exabyte for $28M

Exabytes the dust after years of struggle

Three months after putting itself on the block, struggling tape library vendor Exabyte found a buyer today in its Norwegian rival Tanderberg Data, which bought it for $28 million. (See Tandberg Pays $28M and Exabyte Goes on Block.)

Although Exabyte had been on a downward spiral for years, Tandberg expects to keep its products, and says it will offer all Exabyte employees positions, and it hopes CEO Tom Ward and his management team stay on.

While most of Tandberg's tape products are midrange LTO systems that compete with the likes of Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Quantum, Exabyte builds most of its products around its 8-millimeter VXA tape technology and competes in the low end against Dell, HP, and Quantum.

"There's some overlap, but we think a majority of the products are complementary," says Ken Cruden, executive VP of Tandberg's Americas division in San Diego. "We're excited about their automation potential, and their XGA drive business."

"I wouldn't characterize it as a lot of heavy competition," says Bob Abraham of Freeman Reports, a market research firm. "They're mostly different technologies. This one makes sense strategically, although I can't speak to whether it makes sense financially. Neither company is a powerhouse financially, and Exabyte has been quite weak."

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