SanDisk to buy enterprise flash storage specialist Fusion-io for $1.1 billion

SanDisk is looking to shore up its position in the enterprise flash storage market by purchasing Fusion-io for US$1.1 billion in an all-cash deal.

The acquisition, which was announced Monday, is expected to close in SanDisk's third fiscal quarter.

"Fusion-io will accelerate our efforts to enable the flash-transformed data center, helping companies better manage increasingly heavy data workloads at a lower total cost of ownership," SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said in a statement.

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Fusion-io's chief scientist is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Since undergoing a high-profile IPO in 2011, the company has had mixed financial performance, in part due to a reported over-reliance on a number of large customers, including Apple and Facebook.

The $1.1 billion price tag for Fusion-io is within the range of market premiums," SanDisk CFO Judy Bruner [cq] said during a conference call on Monday, while acknowledging that Fusion-io's stock has been "relatively volatile" of late.

SanDisk's scale of operations and vertically integrated technology approach should help it boost sales of Fusion-io products quickly, Mehrotra said during the call.

Fusion-io is known for its PCIe solid-state technology. SanDisk has been working on its own PCIe products and will continue to "put the pedal to the metal" on that effort, Mehrotra said, although presumably the acquisition will help it lower its overall research and development costs in this area. It also intends to continue develop ULLtraDimm SSDs for customers and workloads that require the lowest latency, he said.

Overall, the combined company should be "very well received," since it will be able to meet the performance, cost and reliability expectations of a wide variety of customers, he added.

More details about product road maps will be shared after the deal's close, Bruner and Mehrotra said.

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