Seagate has acquired a controlling interest in European rival LaCie, helping to further boost Seagate to the top of the global hard drive and storage solutions market.
Under the agreement, Seagate offered to purchase the shares of LaCie chairman and CEO Philippe Spruch, representing 64.5 percent of the outstanding shares of LaCie.
Although the two businesses have refrained from calling this a merger or an acquisition in the press release, but this spells out big expansion plans for Seagate. Blending LaCie's premium consumer storage products into the fold to match Seagate's mainstream consumer products, that could make for a much more well-rounded portfolio overall.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Seagate is also using this as leverage to delve deeper into international markets where LaCie might be stronger, such as Europe and Japan.
Although it isn't mentioned in the release, this also reflects on Seagate's surge in the hard drive storage market in the last few months as many of its competitors have slipped following the floods in Thailand last fall.
Seagate has actually been one of the lucky ones in the aftermath of the disaster and hard drive shortage that ensued. Along with strong earnings for the second fiscal quarter, a report from IHS iSuppli recently posited that Seagate actually got a boost from the natural disaster. That’s mainly thanks to geography as Seagate’s HDD manufacturing plants are on higher ground, in comparison to Western Digital, which saw its facilities engulfed by the floods.
Seagate's momentum continued through the third fiscal quarter with solid earnings and revenue announced in April.
However, this deal might not have any affect on Seagate's bottom line immediately as it is expected to be neutral to Seagate's fiscal 2013 earnings per share. The agreement is also still subject to approval in several markets -- namely the United States, France and Germany -- over antitrust filings and foreign investment.
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