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Samsung bids to sell hard-disc-drive business

18 april 2011, 11:12
Photo courtesy of lelong.com.my
Photo courtesy of lelong.com.my
South Korea's Samsung Electronics is considering selling its loss-making hard-disc-drive business to raise cash for investment in new growth areas, AFP reports.

Samsung is looking for a price of $1.5 billion but may consider a deal under $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal said.

A potential buyer is US-based hard-disc maker Seagate Technology, which accounted for 29 percent of such shipments in the fourth quarter of last year, it said.

Samsung, which held about a 10.7 percent share of the global hard-disc-drive market in the fourth quarter, declined to comment on the report. It said only that it has been reviewing its "business opportunities".

Samsung, the world's largest maker of memory chips and flat-screen televisions, achieved a record second-quarter operating profit of 5.01 trillion won ($4.6 billion) last year but its earnings have been falling since then.

It forecast first-quarter operating profit would fall 34 percent from a year earlier to about 2.9 trillion won due to weaker global demand.

The global hard-disc-drive industry has been under pressure from the success of Apple's iPad and other tablet computers, which store data on flash-memory chips rather than magnetic discs.

The new devices are hitting the sales of laptop computers, which are major users of disc drives.

In March, Western Digital agreed to buy Hitachi's hard-disc-drive business for about $4.3 billion in cash and stock, a deal that created a dominant player with a nearly 50 percent market share.

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