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Hitachi Says Aims to Turn Around HDD Business

Reuters
Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 | 11:57 PM ET

Hitachi has dropped plans to sell a stake in its troubled hard disk drive business and aims to turn around the operation, the head of the unit said on Thursday.

Hitachi, the world's No. 3 maker of hard drives, last month broke off talks with U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake on bringing in fresh capital and ideas after the unit swung to a quarterly profit in October-December.

The return to profit gave ammunition to opponents of the deal within the electronics conglomerate.

"We've talked to Hitachi and made a final decision. We have concluded that we will rebuild the business on our own," Hiroaki Nakanishi, head of the unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, told a news conference.

But Nakanishi added that he would not completely rule out the idea of outside capital.

Hitachi's hard disk drive unit posted a $95 million profit in October-December, compared with a $93 million loss a year earlier. It was the unit's first quarterly profit in two years.

It was helped by booming demand for PC storage in a year of tight supply that had nearly tripled profit at market leaders Seagate Technology and Western Digital.

Opponents of the deal with Silver Lake included Hitachi Chairman Etsuhiko Shoyama, who had presided over the company's purchase of the hard disk drive business in 2002 for $2 billion, according to a company source.

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