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Western Digital Corp (WDC) Takes A Page Out Of SanDisk Corporation (SNDK)’s Book

Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) is taking a page out of SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) book, a report from ZDNet’s Larry Dignan reveals.

Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) is buying Skyera, a solid-state storage solutions providers for the data center space. Skyera will be bought by Western Digital’s HGST, Inc. subsidiary for an unspecified amount.

The move comes after SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) purchased Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO) in June for $1.1 billion. Like Skyera, Fusion-io also provides solid-state storage systems.

According to Dignan, this latest move by Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) is “another piece of evidence that the storage giants are increasingly chasing data center dollars as they move to cloud architectures and solid state drives.”

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) also made it clear in its acquisition of Fusion-io that the deal will “accelerate our efforts to enable the flash-transformed data center”. Sanjay Mehrotra, SanDisk president and CEO, said in the announcement of its acquisition of Fusion-io that the company is looking to bolster vertical integration.

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Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) said that Skyera’s technology will supplement HGST’s own expertise in solid-state storage. The deal is also expected to boost innovation in the field for HGST “to capture new and growing opportunities in data center storage infrastructure”.

“Flash solutions represent a large, exciting growth area for HGST and uniquely complement our existing portfolio,” HGST President Mike Cordano said in a statement.

Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) shareholders includes Cliff Asness’ Aqr Capital Management which reported by the end of the September quarter that it owned about 2.55 million shares of the storage solutions company. However, despite being the largest institutional investor in Western Digital, the stake is a reduction of 17% from Aqr’s holding in the company by the end of the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Michael Lowenstein’s Kensico Capital reported owning about 6.25 million SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) shares by the end of the third quarter. This stake was valued at the time Kensico reported the shares at about $432.05 million.

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