Seagate to buy external drive maker LaCie

LaCie's CEO would run Seagate's consumer storage division

Hard drive maker Seagate Technology today announced an exclusive agreement to acquire a controlling interest in France-based external drive maker LaCie.

In an all-cash transaction worth about $186 million, Seagate has offered to purchase 64.5% of LaCie's shares.

Seagate has offered LaCie about $5.17 cents a share. That price might be boosted by another 3% within six months of the closing if Seagate winds up with 95% of LaCie's shares and voting rights.

Seagate Chairman Steve Luczo said LaCie's products would compliment Seagate's own drive products and allow it to expand its line by adding a "premium-branded" direct-attached storage (DAS) line. The move will also help Seagate develop better software.

LaCie Chairman and CEO Philippe Spruch is expected to join Seagate to run its consumer storage products organization, Luczo said.

Patrick Connolly, who currently serves as vice president and general manager of Seagate's retail group, as well as Pierre van der Elst, who currently serves as deputy general manager of LaCie, will report to Spruch.

LaCie makes external desktop hard drives, mobile device backup drives and network-attached storage (NAS) arrays for the consumer market.

"With the proliferation of devices and content being shared and stored today, consumer demand for high-quality branded storage solutions continues to grow," Spruch said in a statement. "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."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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