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Appeared on: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Seagate Terminates Private Equity Discussions

Seagate Technology PLC has terminated discussions about a private equity-led buyout and instead has won board approval to buy back $2 billion of its own shares.

Seagate terminated the discussions with private equity firms regarding a going private transaction, "principally because it determined that the indications of the valuation range were not in the best interest of the company and its shareholders."

On October 14, 2010, Seagate had received a preliminary indication of interest regarding a going private transaction and its board of directors was in discussions with that party.

"We appreciate the interest shown by the private equity firms and our dialogues with them were extensive and thoughtful," said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman and CEO. "However, management and the Board have chosen to cease discussions concerning a private equity-led leveraged buyout. Given the strong debt markets, improving business conditions and other financing options, Seagate has initiated a plan to further optimize its capital structure to maximize shareholder returns."

Additionally, Seagate?s board of directors has authorized the company to repurchase up to an additional $2 billion of its outstanding ordinary shares.

Seagate management believes that the demand for hard disk drives has improved, and the current expectation for the total available market in the December 2010 quarter is approaching 170 million units. Additionally, supply and demand appear to be well balanced, with the company?s inventory across all channels at or below targeted levels.

As such, for the December 2010 quarter, the company expects revenue to be at least $2.7 billion and gross margin as a percent of revenue to be at least 19.5%.


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