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Japanese buyers create "next generation" HDD company

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Two Japanese giants have joined forces to buy UK disk equipment maker Nordiko. The two companies, precision equipment maker Shimadzu and semiconductor trader Marubun, will spend a total of £22 million on Nordiko to create what they say will be the largest producer of next- generation computer hard disk equipment. Of the two Japanese firms, Shimadzu will come away with the largest portion, 55 per cent, having contributed £13.9 million towards the takeover. Marubun is to provide the remaining £8.16 million gaining a 33 per cent stake. The remaining shares will be held by Nordiko. The UK firm, which makes the thin-film equipment required to produce giant magneto-resistive (GMR) heads for hard disk drives, will continue to operate under its own name, but will become a subsidiary of Shimadzu. Shimadzu said that the acquisition would give it a leading share of the market. The two Japanese companies are sending and executive scout party to Europe to oversee the handover. Marubun would be in charge of sales of the products in Japan. Shimadzu expects the acquisition to boost its annual sales by 13 billion yen by 2001-2002, taking its revenue to a total of 25 billion yen from its current level of 2.3 billion yen. It expects operations to begin next spring.®

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