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Hitachi Mum on Reports of Disk Drive Buyout

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) is keeping quiet about rumors that it plans to sell up to 50 percent of its U.S.-based disk drive business to Silicon Valley investment firm Silver Lake Partners.

News of the rumored sale surfaced in a number of media outlets today, following reports in Japan that HGST and Silver Lake were quibbling on price.

Silver Lake declined to comment on the rumor through a spokesperson. HGST spokesman Jim Pascoe sent this statement in an email to Byte and Switch this afternoon:

    I can tell you that Hitachi, Ltd. is committed to Hitachi GST, as it firmly believes magnetic storage technology is a sound investment in view of the growing market for high-capacity, low-cost storage. Similarly, it believes Hitachi GST is improving its competitive position. Hitachi, Ltd. is doing everything it can to make Hitachi GST even more competitive, healthy and profitable on a sustained basis and it intends to keep and grow its HDD business. Hitachi, Ltd. is looking at various options for continuing investment and growth in its HDD business while accelerating its return to a healthy, competitive position.

If Silver Lake Partners takes a stake in HGST, the move would follow similar investments the financial firm has made in a range of technology businesses, including Seagate, of which it holds a less than 1 percent share.

Hitachi Ltd. issued the following statement yesterday: "Hitachi is focusing on improving the performance of the Hard Disk Drive business, exploring every possibility. However the fact is that Hitachi has not decided to sell the Hard Disk Drive business."

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