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Western Digital-Kioxia Merger Talks Stall: Report


Western Digital and Kioxia merger talks have stalled amid valuation debates and potential regulatory approval concerns, Reuters reported.

The two semiconductor companies in August 2021 were in advanced merger talks to potentially combine businesses and counter Samsung Electronics in the NAND flash memory market, Reuters reported at the time. The result could have been a $20 billion stock deal, the August report said.

The M&A discussions focused on the NAND flash memory market -- which is expected to reach $85.36 billion by 2026, up from $46.62 billion in 2020, registering a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 11.27% during the forecast period, according to Modor Intelligence.

Key technology and business trends such as AI and machine learning, smartphone mobility, and connectivity are driving NAND flash memory demand, Modor says. Major technology companies in the NAND market include Intel, Koxia, Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix.

Western Digital-Kioxia Merger Talks: What Each Company Does

Western Digital, based in San Jose, California, focuses on flash and hard drive solutions. The company's  evenue was $4.9 billion in Q4 of 2021, up 15 percent from Q4 of 2020. The growth involved client devices (up 13 percent), data center devices and solutions (up 6 percent) and client solutions (up 42 percent).

Western Digital's partner programs span:

  • myWD Partner Program for VARs, systems integrators, solutions providers and MSPs that sell storage devices, NAS (network attached storage) and surveillance solutions.
  • G-Technology Partner Program allows partners to sell storage solutions for "end-to-end creative workflows."
  • Enterprise Partner Program, which allows partners to register deals for platforms opportunities.

Kioxia, based in Tokyo, Japan, spun off from Toshiba Memory in June 2018. Current owners include Bain Capital Private Equity, Toshiba and Hoya Corp. Kioxia's sales grew 34.8 percent in Q1 of fiscal year 2021 compared to Q4 of fiscal 2020, according to an August 13, 2021 statement from the company. The company's NAND flash memory growth (12 percent quarter-on-quarter) was in-line with the overall market, Kioxia noted.

NAND Memory Components: Stable Supply Chain?

Although there are some concerns about components shortages in the supply chain, Kioxia expressed confidence that NAND demand and supply chain delivery will remain stable through the second half of calendar 2021.

Blog originally posted August 26, 2021. Updated October 21, 2021.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.