Cupertino, Calif. - Seagate Technology will acquire a controlling interest in fellow data storage provider LaCie.
Seagate has offered to purchase from Philippe Spruch, LaCie's chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, all of their shares, representing 64.5 percent of the outstanding shares of LaCie. Following receipt of governmental approvals and the close of this transaction, Seagate would commence an all-cash simplified tender offer to acquire the remaining outstanding shares in accordance with the General Regulation of the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
The offer currently values LaCie at approximately $186 million, including acquired net cash of approximately $65 million, as of March 31, 2012. Seagate will pay a premium of about 29 percent on the value or Spruch's shares, based on LaCie's average closing stock price over the previous 30 trading days ended May 22.
The price may be increased by a possible price supplement tagged to a level of share acquisition by Seagate in the six months following the close of the deal.
The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie's line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate's array of mainstream consumer storage products. The combination would accelerate Seagate's growth strategy in the expanding consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan, and add strong engineering and software development capabilities, as well as relationships with several key retailers, according to a statement by LaCie.
Following the close of the sale of his shares to Seagate, Spruch would join Seagate and lead the company's consumer storage products organization.
Reporting to Spruch would be Patrick Connolly, who currently serves as VP/general manager of Seagate's retail group, as well as 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, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. "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 organization.
"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."
The share purchase transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2012 pending completion of the relevant governmental reviews. Seagate would then commence a tender offer for the remaining outstanding shares of LaCie, subject to a clearance decision from the AMF. The tender offer is also expected to be completed in the third calendar quarter.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States (antitrust filing), France (approval of foreign investments by the Ministry of Finance) and other jurisdictions (antitrust filing in Germany) and to other customary closing conditions.