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Seagate (STX) To Buy Controlling Interest In Lacie For $186M

 May 23, 2012 10:03 AM

(By Balaseshan) Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) said it agreed to buy 64.5% controlling interest in France-based maker of consumer data storage devices LaCie S.A. for $186 million total equity value, including acquired net cash.

The transaction is expected to be neutral to Seagate's fiscal 2013 earnings per share.

Seagate has offered to purchase from Philippe Spruch, LaCie's chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, all of their shares, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie. This share purchase transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2012.

Following receipt of governmental approvals and the close of this transaction, Seagate would commence an all-cash simplified tender offer (squeeze-out procedure) to buy the balance outstanding shares in accordance with the General Regulation of the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). The tender offer is expected to be completed in the third calendar quarter of 2012.

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The transaction would combine LaCie's line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings with Seagate's array of mainstream consumer storage products.

Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés was appointed as independent expert by the board of directors of LaCie, to deliver a fairness opinion on the price that would be offered in the context of the tender offer, including in the perspective of a potential squeeze-out procedure.

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The combination would accelerate Seagate's growth strategy in the expanding consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan, and add strong engineering and software development capabilities, as well as relationships with several key retailers.

Following the close of the sale of his shares to Seagate, Spruch would join Seagate and lead the company's consumer storage products organization.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP served as legal advisor to Seagate in connection with the transaction. De Pardieu Brocas Maffei A.A.R.P.I. served as legal advisor to LaCie.

STX is trading down 0.76% at $26.16 on Wednesday. The stock has been trading between $9.05 and $32.55 for the past 52 weeks.

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