The hard drive industry continues to contract: today Seagate announced that it will acquire boutique hard drive vendor LaCie at a total valuation of $186m. Seagate will first purchase 64.5 percent of LaCie's stock from CEO Phillipe Spruch, and then try to buy all the remaining shares over the next few months; if it succeeds in purchasing 95 percent of the company within six months, it'll bump the final price paid to Spruch by 3 percent. Spruch himself will join Seagate as head of consumer products.
The move follows Seagate's $1.4b acquisition of Samsung's traditional hard drive business in December and rival Western Digital's merger with Hitachi in March. While the LaCie buyout is much smaller, it offers Seagate an established consumer brand, a history of innovative design — LaCie has long worked with designer Philippe Starck — and continued vertical integration as more and more storage moves to the cloud. The deal is of course subject to regulatory approval in the US and Europe, but Seagate expects it to close in the third quarter of this year.