In a press release today, Wednesday, May 23, 2012, LaCie and Seagate announced an exclusive agreement for Seagate to acquire controlling interest in LaCie. This purchase will grow Seagate’s hard disk product line and increase its capabilities in the consumer storage market.
Seagate offered to purchase 64.5% of LaCie’s outstanding shares from Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO, and his affiliate. These shares are currently valued at $186 million. The purchase price for Seagate may increase depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing.
This deal would be reviewed in the US, France, Germany and other countries for anti-trust and foreign investment approval. After government approval, Seagate would follow with an all-cash simplified tender offer for the remaining shares in accordance with the General Regulation of the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
This transaction helps Seagate grow. It will be interesting, however, to see if the consumer maintains a higher level of choice with this acquisition. LaCie has been known for high quality and excellence in design, while Seagate has focused on the baseline product production and large-scale growth.
Hopefully, the quality and consistency of LaCie will rub off on Seagate and the traditional, Seagate affordability will be assumed into a new line of upscale products.
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