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Western Digital in Advanced Talks to Buy Kioxia

Western Digital is progressing with its talks to merge with Kioxia, its long-time production partner, a new media report claims. The deal could be valued at more than $20 billion and, if cleared by antitrust regulators, would create the world’s largest maker of 3D NAND with formidable manufacturing capacities and product design capabilities. 

The talks between Western Digital and Kioxia have intensified in the recent weeks and the final agreement could be reached already in mid-September, reports The Wall Street Journal. The U.S.-based maker of hard drives and some of the best SSDs reportedly intends to fund the deal with stock, which will make the consortium of investors that owns Kioxia a major shareholder of the new company. 

Kioxia and Western Digital jointly operate 3D NAND production facilities located at two sites in Japan. The two companies produced 33.4% of the global NAND memory output in Q1 2021 and were only 0.1% behind Samsung, according to TrendForce. If Kioxia and Western Digital merge, the combined company will be significantly larger than Micron and SK Hynix (even once the latter absorbs Intel’s 3D NAND and storage business). 

(Image credit: TrendForce)

In fact, the merged company will be the world’s largest supplier of storage devices with plenty of clients, a large portfolio of IP and patents, leading-edge 3D NAND production capacities, hard drive manufacturing, several SSD design teams, and even a group of engineers working on RISC-V CPU cores for advanced storage devices.  

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