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Toshiba targets OCZ assets

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 3 December 2013

Toshiba is ready to splash out US$35m for the client and enterprise solid state drive (SSD) business of bankrupt NASDAQ-quoted vendor OCZ. Under the terms of the deal, OCZ will continue to serve customers during this process. Toshiba will stump up DIP (debtor-in-possession) financing to ensure that there is adequate capital and flash supply to support the business during the contemplated sale period. The consummation of the asset purchase agreement is subject to an auction and approval by the bankruptcy court in OCZ’s bankruptcy case.

The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of OCZ, and it is expected that the sale will close within approximately 60 days.

Ralph Schmitt, CEO at OCZ, said: "Over the past year, OCZ has dealt with numerous issues which have stressed the company’s capital structure and operating model, posing a challenge to achieving near term profitability. The combination of NAND flash supply constraints and credit issues have impacted our ability to satisfy the demands of our customers; this combined with increased pricing pressure in our industry have contributed to our on-going operating losses.”

“On an operational basis, we completed a complex investigation, several restructurings and a multi-year restatement that added significantly to our working capital requirements. We have been working diligently on this partnership with Toshiba and we believe that this is the best outcome under our current corporate conditions," Schmitt added.

The deal provides Toshiba with access to OCZ’s proprietary controllers, firmware and software, as well as the teams responsible for bringing these solutions to market, in addition to OCZ’s established brand and sales channels. This strategic opportunity will bring critical controller IP and NAND supply all under one global organisation, allowing for an even more robust and competitive solid state solution offering for all of OCZ’s and Toshiba’s mutual customers moving forward.

Seiichi Mori, VP of Toshiba’s semiconductor and storage company and corporate VP at Toshiba, added: "We are excited to participate in this opportunity. If our bid is successful, the combination of our leading NAND technology with OCZ’s SSD expertise will allow us to further strengthen Toshiba’s SSD business. We value OCZ’s SSD business and technology in both the consumer and enterprise markets, and we are confident that it will reinforce our capabilities and help us to secure leadership in the SSD market."

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