Toshiba buys Fujitsu HDD business

Japanese manufacturer buys Fujitsu's hard disk drive business to boost its market share and pave way into enterprise server and data storage markets.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor on

Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba has agreed to buy over Fujitsu's hard disk drive (HDD) business, in a move aimed at expanding its footprint in the enterprise storage market.

In a statement released Tuesday, Fujitsu did not reveal how much the deal is worth but said the transaction is targeted to be completed in the first quarter of its fiscal 2009, ending Jun. 30 this year.

Under the agreement, Fujitsu will transfer all its HDD-related businesses and functions to the new company, including HDD design, development, manufacturing and sales. It will retain a 20 percent share for "a certain period of time", before the new HDD business unit becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary under Toshiba, according to the statement.

The deal will enable Toshiba to "reinforce" its position as a vendor of small form-factor HDDs, commonly used in consumer electronics and mobile devices, the company said.

The agreement will also pave the way for Toshiba to enter the HDD market for enterprise servers and data storage system applications, enabling the company to expand its footprint in the solid state drive (SSD) segment.

Toshiba is hoping the deal will boost its share of the overall HDD market to over 20 percent by 2015.

Discussions between the two companies were made known last month when Fujitsu said it will halt production of read/write heads for HDDs, and Toshiba confirmed it was involved in negations regarding Fujitsu's HDD business.

In a separate statement Tuesday, Fujitsu said it is projecting a heavier net loss than previously forecast for the year, ending Mar. 31, of 50 billion yen (US$545 million). It earlier estimated a net loss of 20 billion yen (US$218 million). As a result of the HDD business reorganization and transfers, including its HDD media business to Showa Denko K. K., Fujitsu expects to incur related losses totaling some 35 billion yen (US$382 million) for the full fiscal year.

The following businesses will be transferred to Toshiba:

  • Fujitsu's HDD development, manufacturing and sales divisions;
  • Fujitsu Computer Products Corporation of the Philippines and Fujitsu Thailand, which are both HDD manufacturing subsidiaries;
  • HDD design, development, quality assurance and other departments under Yamagata Fujitsu;
  • Fujitsu Laboratories' HDD technology development department; and
  • HDD sales and marketing offices outside Japan.

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