Samsung Stalks SanDisk

The Flash specialist could be a $1.3B acquisition target for Samsung, according to media reports

September 6, 2008

2 Min Read
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Flash vendor SanDisk is a $1.3 billion acquisition target for Samsung, according to media reports today, as the Korean electronics giant looks to boost its storage presence.

South Korean online news service edaily reported that Samsung is considering either acquiring SanDisk or forming a strategic alliance with SanDisk, underlining the growing importance of Flash technology in the storage market.

In a statement released earlier today, SanDisk refused to confirm or deny the Samsung rumors.

SanDisk periodically has conversations with multiple parties, including Samsung, regarding a variety of potential business opportunities,” it said, vaguely. “We evaluate all of these opportunities, but maintain a policy of not commenting on market rumors or speculation.”

The Korean chip giant was equally noncommittal in a statement emailed to Byte and Switch today. “Samsung is considering various opportunities, but nothing has been decided yet,” wrote a company spokesman.SanDisk could nonetheless make an attractive acquisition target for Samsung, enabling the vendor to offer both Flash chips and memory cards.

SanDisk, which is the world’s largest provider of Flash memory cards for both consumer and business users, has already forged partnerships with the likes of IBM to provide blade-based storage. The Milpitas, Calif.-based vendor also added online backup to its USB offerings earlier this year.

Earlier this year it was rumored that Seagate was planning to buy parts of SanDisk, which took a revenue hit in its recent second quarter results . Like many firms in the tech sector, SanDisk is struggling with the current economic climate.

With SanDisk selling much of its storage into the mobile phone, digital camera, and iPod markets, the vendor is particularly vulnerable to flagging consumer confidence at a time of real economic uncertainty.

Analyst firm Caris & Company upgraded SanDisk from "below average" to "average" following today’s Samsung rumors, adding that an acquisition could provide “significant benefits” to the company following an “unprecedented NAND [Flash] downturn.”Samsung has already started to forge its own partnerships in the Flash space, most recently teaming up with Sun to develop a single-cell NAND Flash memory device, although a SanDisk acquisition would greatly increase its market reach into both consumer and business sectors.

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  • Caris & Company

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • SanDisk Corp. (Nasdaq: SNDK)

  • Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC)

  • Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc.

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