Toshiba pounces on fallen OCZ, eyes SSD market dominance

Toshiba buys OCZ’s SSD client, enterprise and software assets out of Chapter 11, boosting its own NAND flash memory business

High-performance solid state drive (SSD) vendor OCZ, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, has been bought by Toshiba for the knockdown price of $35m (£21.3m).

Under the terms of the deal, which was first tabled on 28 November, Toshiba will get its hands on OCZ’s client and enterprise SSD business, including its proprietary controllers, firmware and software, as well as its go-to-market teams and established channels.

It has also agreed to provide OCZ with debtor-in-possession financing to ensure that it has enough capital and component supply to make it through the contemplated sale period, which is expected to last until early February.

The consummation of the agreement is subject to an auction and approval by a bankruptcy court, OCZ said.

Toshiba hopes the acquisition will consolidate its market position by bringing controller IP and NAND supply under one global umbrella, making its solution both more competitive and compelling to customers.

OCZ CEO Ralph Schmitt said the firm had succumbed to a number of issues that stressed its capital structure and operating model, including NAND flash supply constraints, withdrawal of credit, and general industry pricing pressure.

“On an operational basis we completed a complex investigation, several restructurings and a multi-year restatement that added significantly to our working capital requirements,” said Schmitt.

“We have been working diligently on this partnership with Toshiba and we believe that this is the best outcome under our current corporate conditions,” he concluded.

Toshiba VP of semiconductor and storage and corporate vice president, Seiichi Mori, added: “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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