SanDisk Is Buying Fusion-io For $1.1 Billion

Data StorageStorageWorkspace

Flash manufacturer hopes innovative enterprise products will protect it against the volatility of the memory chip market

Israeli-American NAND chip manufacturer SanDisk has announced plans to acquire the flash storage specialist Fusion-io for $1.1 billion (£650m) in cash.

According to Reuters, existing Fusion-io shareholders will receive $11.25 per share – a 21 percent premium over their current market value. SanDisk expects the deal to close in the third quarter of 2014.

The grass is always greener on the server-side

Fusion-io hardware fits into third-party servers and appliances to dramatically improve performance, while not taking nearly as much space as a rack of SSDs. The company has around 7,000 customers, ranging from SMBs to the operators of the world’s largest data centres. These include financial institutions like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, which use application accelerators to reduce latency during their high-frequency trading operations.

Fusion-io ioDisk2The company employs Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as its chief scientist, and recently estimated its addressable market at $21 billion. Despite filing for IPO in 2011, Fusion-io continues to invest heavily in R&D, and has reported a loss for the last five consecutive quarters.

SanDisk, known primarily as a consumer brand, is one of the very few companies that make their own flash memory chips. It supplies mobile device and PC manufacturers, as well as marketing its own range of SSDs and PCI-E solid state accelerator cards, some of which compete directly with Fusion-io.

It is thought that the acquisition will help SanDisk diversify its business and protect it against the ups and downs of the notoriously volatile NAND chip market.

Earlier this month, Fusion-io launched a new range of PCI-E application acceleration cards under the name ‘Atomic Series’. The PX600 and SX300 cards double the usable flash capacity over the previous generation hardware, while keeping the same small footprint.

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