by Brian Beeler

SanDisk Buying Fusion-io for $1.1 Billion

SanDisk is adding to their comprehensive enterprise flash business by picking up Fusion-io for a reported $1.1 billion. SanDisk has recently been working through a refresh of their SATA and SAS SSD businesses, but they had curiously neglected to do anything with their PCIe offering, though truth be told, the PCIe Lightning cards were never competitive. It appears rather than invest in reviving that technology, SanDisk found the better and faster path to market was to absorb Fusion-io, who's held a long-time lead in PCIe flash space with innovative hardware design and comprehensive software. 

Fusion-io Atomic Series Family

For its part, Fusion-io just came off a major launch of their third generation ioMemory products, collectively dubbed the Atomic Series. The new cards feature a single FPGA, 20nm MLC NAND and capacities up to 6.4TB in a single card. Fusion-io is the first to move to the smaller NAND with a product portfolio that's enterprise-ready. The addition of Fusion-io ioMemory products to the SanDisk portfolio closes a gap that of course includes PCIe storage, but also an all flash array via ION and a hybrid array offering with ioControl. It remains to be seen what SanDisk does with the latter businesses as SanDisk supplies flash to most major storage array vendors, including hybrid and AFAs from HP and Dell.

The tender offer is for $11.25 per share, roughly a 20% premium over Friday's close. The transaction is expected to close some time in SanDisk's fiscal third quarter this year.

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