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Title: Western Digital buys Hitachi GST
Description: Consolidation of the hard drive market is continuing. After Seagate’s purchase of Maxtor in 2005, now Western Digital have bought the Hitachi storage subsidiary, Hitachi GST (itself historically born out of the IBM storage subsidiary, that was initially a joint venture and then taken over entirely by Hitachi).

The acquisition is for a total of USD 4.3 billion, USD 3.5 billion of which is in cash, with the Hitachi group also obtaining stock in Western Digital worth USD 750 million (10%). Western Digital say that the new company won’t change its name. We don’t yet know if the Hitachi GST brand will still be used or not. In Hitachi GST, Western Digital, who took the no.1 spot on the hard drive market from competitor Seagate in 2010, is getting a brand that is relatively well established on the enterprise and server markets, a sector dominated by Seagate. Hitachi GST was no.3 overall in the hard drive sector in the last quarter of 2010 with 18% of market share (31% and 29% for WD and Seagate respectively). This means that, with this acquisition, Western Digital will now be selling one hard drive in two worldwide!

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