Western Digital splits into two companies, targeting data storage growth in HDD and flash markets.


October 30, 2023

Western Digital splits into two companies, targeting data storage growth in HDD and flash markets.

Summary: Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) has announced its plan to separate its HDD and Flash businesses to unlock value for shareholders and position each company as a leader in its respective market.

  • The separation of the HDD and Flash businesses will create two independent, publicly traded companies with separate capital structures.
  • The move will unlock significant value for shareholders and position each company as a leader in its respective market.
  • The company has weathered a historic cyclical downturn in storage and is now entering a phase of market improvement.


Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC), a leading data Storage company, has announced its plan to separate its HDD (hard disk drive) and Flash businesses. This move comes as Western Digital aims to enhance the strategic focus and resources of each franchise, enabling them to pursue market-specific opportunities and operate more efficiently.

The separation of the HDD and Flash businesses will create two independent, publicly traded companies with separate capital structures. By doing so, Western Digital believes that it can unlock significant value for its shareholders and position each company as a leader in its respective market.

David Goeckeler, CEO of Western Digital, stated that both the HDD and Flash businesses are well-positioned to capitalize on the evolving dynamics of the data storage industry. He emphasized that separating these franchises will allow them to drive long-term success and provide shareholders with the opportunity to benefit from the growth and investment profiles of two industry leaders.

Western Digital has already taken important steps in preparing for this separation, including the establishment of separate Flash and HDD product business units and the enhancement of operational efficiency. The company is confident in its strong product, operational, and financial leadership to successfully execute this plan.

After conducting a comprehensive strategic review, Western Digital has determined that spinning off its Flash business is the best course of action to realize its full value. The current timing for implementing this stand-alone separation strategy is seen as advantageous as industry conditions improve.

Goeckeler added that the company has weathered a historic cyclical downturn in storage and is now entering a phase of market improvement. While remaining open to strategic opportunities, Western Digital believes that a stand-alone separation is the right next step to unlock value for its shareholders.

The final decision to separate the HDD and Flash businesses is subject to board approval, execution of definitive documentation, tax-related opinions or rulings, and satisfaction of customary conditions. This includes filing appropriate documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, completing audited financials, and securing financing.

Western Digital will discuss the creation of two independent companies during its first quarter fiscal year 2024 earnings results conference call on October 30. A webcast and presentation providing further clarity on the separation process and the financial characteristics of each business will be available on the company’s investor website.

During the strategic review process, Western Digital received financial advice from Qatalyst Partners, Lazard, and J.P. Morgan, and legal counsel from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Western Digital splits into two companies, targeting data storage growth in HDD and flash markets.

(Source)

Background Information


About Western Digital: Western Digital, established in 1970, is a important data storage solutions provider known for its wide range of hard drives and solid-state drives. Catering to various applications, from personal computers to enterprise storage systems, Western Digital emphasizes data management and security. With a reputation for reliability and innovative solutions, the company has been pivotal in shaping the storage industry. Their products are trusted by individuals, businesses, and data centers worldwide

Western Digital Website: https://www.westerndigital.com/
Western Digital LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/western-digital/

Technology Explained


HDD: A Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is a classic data storage device that utilizes spinning disks, or platters, coated with a magnetic material to store and retrieve data. An actuator arm with read/write heads accesses data by moving over the spinning platters. HDDs offer large storage capacities at a comparatively lower cost per gigabyte, making them suitable for applications where massive data storage is required, such as servers and desktop computers. However, HDDs are slower in terms of read and write speeds compared to SSDs due to the mechanical nature of their operation. They are more susceptible to physical shocks and are less energy-efficient due to the need to constantly spin the platters.



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