SanDisk Said to Be in Advanced Talks to Sell to Western Digital

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SanDisk Corp. is in advanced talks to sell itself to Western Digital Corp. and the two could reach a deal as soon as this week, people with knowledge of the matter said.

While no agreement has been signed and talks could still fall apart, negotiations accelerated over the weekend, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

SanDisk has spoken with both Western Digital and Micron Technology Inc. about a deal, people familiar with the matter said last week. SanDisk, which has a market capitalization of about $14.7 billion, has climbed more than 16 percent since Bloomberg reported the company was exploring a sale Oct. 13.

A representative for SanDisk didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Spokesmen for Western Digital and Micron declined to comment.

SanDisk is one of the largest makers of flash memory, a type of chip that’s used as storage in mobile devices and increasingly in computers and data centers. Last month Western Digital got a $3.8 billion investment from China’s Tsinghua University, adding to its funds available to make deals.

This year to date has been the biggest ever for semiconductor mergers and acquisitions. Companies in the $300 billion industry are facing rising costs and a shrinking customer base, encouraging them to get together to add scale.

–With assistance from Ian King in San Francisco.

Alex Sherman

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