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Seagate eyes stake in LaCie

Veronica C. Silva | May 30, 2012
Investment could help Seagate expand in consumer storage market, and in Europe and Japan.

Storage solutions provider Seagate has expressed interest in acquiring a stake in a French company that manufactures consumer storage solutions.

Seagate Technology said it has signed an exclusive agreement with LaCie S.A. to acquire the shares of Philippe Spruch, chairman and CEO, LaCie, and his affiliate, representing 64.5 percent of LaCie. The plan is to acquire the remaining shares in accordance with US, German and French corporate laws.

Nasdaq-listed Seagate said it has offered Spruch and his affiliate €4.05 (US$5.04) per share in cash, minus a potential adjustment depending on the cash and debt position of Euronext-listed LaCie at closing, which is expected later this year. This offer represents €146 million, or U$186 million, total equity value, Seagate said, including acquired net cash of about €49 million, or US$65 million, as of

31 March 2012.

With the acquisition, Seagate is expecting to accelerate its growth strategy in the consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan. Seagate can also beef up its engineering and software development capabilities, and strengthen its network of retail channel partners.


Seagate said the product and technology portfolios of the two companies are complementary. LaCie's line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings will add value to Seagate's array of mainstream consumer storage products.

LaCie manufactures solutions for storage devices for PC, Apple, and Linux, and has operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Spruch will join Seagate as head of Seagate's consumer storage products organisation. Spruch will be joined in that organisation by Patrick Connolly, who currently serves as vice president and general manager of Seagate's retail group, and Pierre van der Elst, who currently serves as deputy general manager of LaCie.

"Seagate has a strong commitment to the growing consumer storage market and bringing the most dynamic products to market. LaCie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium-branded direct-attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development," said Steve Luczo, chairman, president and CEO, Seagate.

Consumer division

On Spruch's joining the Seagate team, Luczo added: "We are also excited that Philippe, who is a true visionary and leader in the consumer storage business, would join Seagate to run our consumer storage products organisation."

For his part, Spruch highlighted the value that LaCie is bringing into the Seagate organisation.

"With the proliferation of devices and content being shared and stored today, consumer demand for high-quality branded storage solutions continues to grow," said Philippe Spruch, LaCie's chairman and CEO. "We are excited about the potential for this combination to benefit customers and employees by creating significant scale and opening up new markets. We look forward to making the resources of a much larger company available to our customers around the world."

Seagate said the transaction is expected to be neutral to its fiscal 2013 earnings per share.


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