WD® lanceert eerste Enterprise WD Se™ harde schijven om groei van opslag binnen datacenters op te vangen

Schiphol-Rijk - 28 mei 2013

Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) and Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT / TSE:6501) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby WD will acquire Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $4.3 billion. The proposed combination will result in a customer-focused storage company, with significant operating scale, strong global talent and the industry's broadest product lineup backed by a rich technology portfolio.

Under the terms of the agreement, WD will acquire Hitachi GST for $3.5 billion in cash and 25 million WD common shares valued at $750 million, based on a WD closing stock price of $30.01 as of March 4, 2011. Hitachi, Ltd. will own approximately ten percent of Western Digital shares outstanding after issuance of the shares and two representatives of Hitachi will be added to the WD board of directors at closing. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is expected to close during the third calendar quarter of 2011, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. WD plans to fund the transaction with a combination of existing cash and total debt of approximately $2.5 billion.

WD expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to its earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis, excluding acquisition-related expenses, restructuring charges and amortization of intangibles.

The resulting company will retain the Western Digital name and remain headquartered in Irvine, California. John Coyne will remain chief executive officer of WD, Tim Leyden chief operating officer and Wolfgang Nickl chief financial officer. Steve Milligan, president and chief executive officer of Hitachi GST, will join WD at closing as president, reporting to John Coyne.

"The acquisition of Hitachi GST is a unique opportunity for WD to create further value for our customers, stockholders, employees, suppliers and the communities in which we operate," said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer of WD. "We believe this step will result in several key benefits—enhanced R&D capabilities, innovation and expansion of a rich product portfolio, comprehensive market coverage and scale that will enhance our cost structure and ability to compete in a dynamic marketplace. The skills and contributions of both workforces were key considerations in assessing this compelling opportunity. We will be relying on the proven integration capabilities of both companies to assure the ongoing satisfaction of our customers and to bring this combination to successful fruition."

"This brings together two industry leaders with consistent track records of strong execution and industry outperformance," said Steve Milligan, president and chief executive officer, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "Together we can provide customers worldwide with the industry's most compelling and diverse set of products and services, from innovative personal storage to solid state drives for the enterprise."

Hiroaki Nakanishi, president, Hitachi, Ltd. said, "As the former CEO of Hitachi GST, I always believed in the potential of Hitachi GST to become a larger and more agile company. This is a strategic combination of two industry leaders, both growing and profitable. It provides an opportunity for the new company to increase customer and shareholder value and expand into new markets. Additionally, it is important to us that WD shares common values with Hitachi GST to create a more global company that is well positioned to define a broader role in the evolving storage industry."

WD's exclusive financial adviser on the transaction is Bank of America Merrill Lynch; its lead legal adviser is O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Goldman, Sachs & Co serves as financial adviser to Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi GST. Legal advisers to Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi GST are Morrison Foerster LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates, respectively.

Conference Call Information
WD will be hosting an investment community conference call to discuss today's announcement to be broadcast live over the Internet today at 6 a.m. PST/9 a.m. EST. The call will be accessible live and on an archived basis via the link below. WD will publish a special investor summary sheet regarding this announcement on the investor relations section of its Website.

About WD
WD, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users' data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and home entertainment products.

WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD® brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company's Website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE:6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2010) consolidated revenues totaled 8,968 billion yen ($96.4 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's Website at http://www.hitachi.com.

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) develops advanced hard disk drives, enterprise-class solid state drives and innovative external storage solutions and services used to store, preserve and manage the world's most valued data. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives, Hitachi GST provides high-value storage for a broad range of market segments, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile computing, Consumer Electronics and Personal Storage. Hitachi GST was established in 2003 and maintains its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, California. For more information, please visit the company's Website at http://www.hitachigst.com.

Western Digital Safe Harbor
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements concerning the immediate accretion and other benefits expected from the transaction, the expected timing of the completion of the transaction and management's anticipated plans and strategies for the combined company. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including: delays in or failure to obtain any required regulatory approvals with respect to the transaction; failure to consummate or delay in consummating the transaction for other reasons; the possibility that the expected benefits of the transaction may not materialize as expected; failure to successfully integrate the products, R&D capabilities, infrastructure and employees of WD and Hitachi GST; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in WD's filings with the SEC, including WD's recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on Jan. 28, 2011 for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010, to which your attention is directed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and WD undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. In addition, this press release contains information about a non-GAAP financial measure. Please note that this non-GAAP financial measure excludes acquisition-related expenses, restructuring charges and amortization of intangibles that we expect to incur in connection with the transaction and following the closing of the transaction. Because these items will not be known to us until on or after the closing of the transaction, we are unable to provide information about the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. The impact of these excluded items will cause the non-GAAP financial measure to differ materially from the comparable GAAP financial measure.

Hitachi, Ltd. Cautionary Statement
Certain statements found in this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such "forward-looking statements" reflect management's current views with respect to certain future events and financial performance and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "estimate," "forecast," "intend," "plan," "project" and similar expressions which indicate future events and trends may identify "forward-looking statements." Such statements are based on currently available information and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in the "forward-looking statements" and from historical trends. Certain "forward-looking statements" are based upon current assumptions of future events which may not prove to be accurate. Undue reliance should not be placed on "forward-looking statements," as such statements speak only as of the date of this document.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in any "forward-looking statement" and from historical trends include, but are not limited to:
• economic conditions, including consumer spending and plant and equipment investments in Hitachi's major markets, particularly Japan, Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as levels of demand in the major industrial sectors which Hitachi serves, including, without limitation, the information, electronics, automotive, construction and financial sectors;
• exchange rate fluctuations for the yen and other currencies in which Hitachi makes significant sales or in which Hitachi's assets and liabilities are denominated, particularly against the U.S. dollar and the euro;
• uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to access, or access on favorable terms, liquidity or long-term financing;
• uncertainty as to general market price levels for equity securities in Japan, declines in which may require Hitachi to write down equity securities that it holds;
• the potential for significant losses on Hitachi's investments in equity method affiliates;
• increased commoditization of information technology products and digital media-related products and intensifying price competition for such products, particularly in the Components & Devices and the Digital Media & Consumer Products segments;
• uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to continue to develop and market products that incorporate new technology on a timely and cost-effective basis and to achieve market acceptance for such products;
• rapid technological innovation;
• the possibility of cost fluctuations during the lifetime of or cancellation of long-term contracts, for which Hitachi uses the percentage-of-completion method to recognize revenue from sales;
• fluctuations in the price of raw materials including, without limitation, petroleum and other materials, such as copper, steel, aluminum and synthetic resins and shortages of materials, parts and components;
• fluctuations in product demand and industry capacity;
• uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to implement measures to reduce the potential negative impact of fluctuations in product demand, exchange rates and/or price of raw materials and shortages of materials, parts and components;
• uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of its strategy to strengthen its Social Innovation Business;
• uncertainty as to the success of restructuring efforts to improve management efficiency by divesting or otherwise exiting underperforming businesses and to strengthen competitiveness and other cost reduction measures;
• general socio-economic and political conditions and the regulatory and trade environment of countries where Hitachi conducts business, particularly Japan, Asia, the United States and Europe, including, without limitation, direct or indirect restrictions by other nations on imports, or differences in commercial and business customs including, without limitation, contract terms and conditions and labor relations;
• uncertainty as to the success of alliances upon which Hitachi depends, some of which Hitachi may not control, with other corporations in the design and development of certain key products;
• uncertainty as to Hitachi's access to, or ability to protect, certain intellectual property rights, particularly those related to electronics and data processing technologies;
• uncertainty as to the outcome of litigation, regulatory investigations and other legal proceedings of which the Company, its subsidiaries or its equity method affiliates have become or may become parties;
• the possibility of incurring expenses resulting from any defects in products or services of Hitachi;
• the possibility of disruption of Hitachi's operations in Japan by earthquakes or other natural disasters;
• uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to maintain the integrity of its information systems, as well as Hitachi's ability to protect its confidential information and that of its customers;
• uncertainty as to the accuracy of key assumptions Hitachi uses to valuate its significant employee benefit related costs; and
• uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to attract and retain skilled personnel.

The factors listed above are not all-inclusive and are in addition to other factors contained in Hitachi's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in other materials published by Hitachi.

Investor Information Summary

Western Digital, WD, and the WD logo are registered trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.

WD®, dochteronderneming van Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) en wereldleider op het gebied van opslagoplossingen in datacenters, introduceert vandaag de innovatieve WD Se™ harde schijven. Deze harde schijven zijn speciaal ontworpen voor scale-out datacenters. Door de combinatie van performance, betrouwbaarheid en stabiliteit zijn deze schijven uitermate geschikt voor grootschalige, gerepliceerde omgevingen, middelgrote Network Attached Storage en back-up/archiveerapplicaties. WD Se is gebouwd op een professioneel platform voor de hoogste betrouwbaarheid voor 24x7 beschikbaarheid.

De sterke groei van dataopslag heeft geleid tot versnelde scale-out van datacenters van elke omvang. WD Se biedt verschillende mogelijkheden om deze sterke groei op te vangen. De nieuwe WD Se harde schijven, nu leverbaar met capaciteiten tot 4 TB, bieden klanten een oplossing voor groeiende datavolumes in de vorm van een behuizing met meerdere schijven, zonder concessies te doen op het gebied van professionele functies.

“Moderne cloud-datacenters zoeken een kosteneffectieve manier om grootschalige opslagsystemen te bouwen met behoud van de betrouwbaarheid die noodzakelijk is voor een lage TCO,” aldus Barber Brinkman, Sales Manager Benelux bij WD. “Vanwege de enorme datavolumes voor productie en ontwikkeling gebruikt WD – net als veel andere bedrijven – noodgedwongen map-reduce methoden om data effectief te analyseren. We passen de WD Se harde schijven ook toe in ons eigen datacenter, waar we een real-world ervaring realiseren met Apache™ Hadoop®.”

WD Se schijven zijn ook geschikt voor oplossingen op het gebied van Network Attached Storage (NAS) in het MKB. Het professionele ontwerp en de grotere capaciteit maken de schijven geschikt voor NAS-eenheden met 6 of meer bays voor het MKB en voor multi-tenant NAS-oplossingen in racks met maximaal 24 bays. Dat geeft NAS-integrators een aanvulling op de WD Red™ harde schijven, die geschikt zijn voor kleine NAS-systemen. De andere harde schijven van WD geschikt voor datacenters – WD Xe™ en WD Re™ – zijn bedoeld voor de bovenkant van de NAS-markt, met grotere duurzaamheid en performance voor grootschalige NAS-racksystemen. Samen vormen de WD Se, WD Xe, WD Re en WD Red™ een compleet portfolio van opslagoplossingen die geschikt zijn voor NAS-implementaties van elke schaal en omvang.    
De WD Se harde schijven zijn minimaal 5.000.000 uur functioneel en thermisch getest, naast 20.000.000 uur aanvullende testtijd onder realistische workloads in server- en opslagsystemen. Andere kenmerken van de WD Se harde schijven zijn:

  • Dual processor voor verdubbeling van de overdrachtssnelheden voor maximale prestaties;
  • Verbeterde Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™)-technologie met gesofisticeerde elektronica om de schijf te controleren en zowel lineaire als rotationele trillingen in real time te corrigeren. Dit zorgt voor een aanzienlijke verbetering van de prestaties in omgevingen met veel trillingen;
  • Dual actuator-technologie een revolutionaire combinatie van twee actuators zorgt voor nauwkeurige positionering. De primaire actuator is een conventionele, elektromagnetische actuator die zorgt voor globale plaatsing op het dataspoor, terwijl de tweede actuator de kop zeer nauwkeurig positioneert met behulp van piëzo-elektrische sturing;
  • StableTrac™-technologie, waarbij de naaf is verkleind en boven en onder is bevestigd, om trilling van het systeem te verminderen en de platen van de schijf te stabiliseren. Dit zorgt voor nauwkeurige tracking bij lezen en schrijven en consistent hoge prestaties;
  • Schoksensoren detecteren automatisch de geringste schokken en compenseren die, ter bescherming van de data;
  • RAID-specifieke Time-Limited Error Recovery (TLER) voorkomt uitval als gevolg van uitgebreide herstelprocessen bij fouten in een harde schijf die vaak voorkomen bij desktopschijven;
  • Dynamic fly height-technologie zorgt ervoor dat de hoogte van de lees- en schrijfkop in real time wordt gecorrigeerd voor optimale betrouwbaarheid.

Prijs en verkrijgbaarheid
WD Se harde schijven, leverbaar met een capaciteit van 2 tot 4 TB, (modellen: WD2000F9YZ, WD3000F9YZ en WD4000F9YZ) zijn verkrijgbaar bij geselecteerde distributeurs en resellers. De schijven worden geleverd met een garantie van vijf jaar. Meer informatie over de WD Se professionele harde schijven is beschikbaar op http://www.wd.com/nl/products/products.aspx?id=1050.

Over WD
WD, onderdeel van Western Digital, is al jaren innovator en marktleider in de opslagbranche. Als trendsetter in opslagtechnologie, produceert het bedrijf betrouwbare, high-performance hard disk drives (hdd) en solid disk drives (sdd). Deze schijven worden behalve in de eigen opslagproducten, door OEM’s en systeembouwers toegepast in desktop- en mobiele computers, in bedrijfscomputersystemen, embedded systemen en consumentenelektronica. De marktleidende opslagproducten en –systemen, netwerkproducten, mediaspelers en softwareoplossingen van WD stellen wereldwijd mensen in staat eenvoudig hun content te bewaren, op te slaan, te beschermen, te delen en te beleven op meerdere apparaten. WD werd in 1970 opgericht. Het hoofdkantoor is gevestigd in Irvine, Californië  (VS). Kijk voor meer informatie op de website van het bedrijf: www.wd.com.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) levert wereldwijd producten en diensten die mensen in staat stellen digitale content te maken, beheren, beleven en behouden. De bedrijven binnen dit concern ontwerpen en vervaardigen opslagapparaten, netwerkapparatuur en mediaspelers van de merken WD, HGST en G-Technology. Op het investeerdersgedeelte van de website van het bedrijf (www.westerndigital.com) is financiële informatie en informatie voor investeerders te vinden.

De Nederlandstalige website is direct te benaderen via www.wdc.com/nl. WD is ook te volgen via Twitter www.twitter.com/wd_nederland en Facebook www.facebook.com/westerndigitalnederland

Western Digital, WD, and the WD logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. and other countries; IntelliSeek, StableTrac and NoTouch are trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Other marks may be mentioned herein that belong to other companies. All other brand and product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies. As used for storage capacity, one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. As used for transfer rate or interface, gigabit per second (Gb/s) = one billion bits per second.