Unisplendour, a subsidiary of China’s Tsinghua Holdings, has invested some $3.78 billion for 15 percent of hard drive maker Western Digital.

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

October 1, 2015

2 Min Read
Western Digital Lands $3.8 Billion Investment from China’s Tsinghua Unisplendour

Western Digital (WDC) said Unisplendour, a subsidiary of China’s state backed Tsinghua Holdings, has invested some $3.78 billion, or $92.50 a share, to buy 15 percent of the hard drive maker’s newly-issued stock at a 34 percent premium above its Tuesday $68.87 closing price.

The investment will go to strengthen Western Digital’s balance sheet and give it additional cash for new growth, officials said.

“The equity investment by Unisplendour will help facilitate our growth as we look to capitalize on the many opportunities and changes within the global storage industry,” said Steve Milligan, Western Digital chief executive.

Under terms of the transaction, Unisplendour will have the right to name one representative to Western’s board of directors and has agreed not to sell any of its Western Digital stock for at least five years. The person won’t be allowed to take part in discussions regarding government contracts, sales or other sensitive matters nor will it have any ownership in Western Digital’s intellectual property, the company said.

Western Digital said it does not expect the deal to require approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. but will notify the regulatory agency “out of an abundance of caution.”

The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2016.

Should the Western Digital deal go through, Unisplendour will become the storage provider’s largest shareholder.

The Western Digital deal is the second substantial U.S. investment for Unisplendour and Tsinghua Holdings in the past six months. Last May, Unisplendour bought 51 percent of Hewlett-Packard’s co-owned H3C Technologies, an entity that included the computer maker’s China-based server, storage and technology services business, in a $2.3 billion deal.

In September, 2014, Intel (INTC) poured $1.5 billion into Tsinghua Unigroup, a subsidiary of the Chinese government-backed Tsinghua Holdings that controls fabless chip maker Spreadtrum and RDA Microelectronics, in a joint development deal to broaden the U.S. chip giant’s mobile devices portfolio and architecture in China and worldwide. Tsinghua Unigroup bought Spreadtrum for about $1.8 billion in December 2013.

Last July, reports surfaced that Tsinghua Unigroup had offered $23 billion offer to buy Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology, one of the top five semiconductor manufacturers in the world and third in the global DRAM market, in a deal that did not get done.

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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