Feeds

Silver Lake and SMART Modular: The Privening

Hefty Flash'n'RAM firm to vanish off stock market

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Publicly-owned RAM and SSD supplier SMART Modular is turning to private ownership via a $645m deal with Silver Lake.

SMART was identified as the fifth largest supplier of SSD products by Gartner in 2009. It builds the XceedIOPS SSD using MLC or enterprise-grade MLC NAND coupled with Sandforce controllers. The product has a claimed 30,000 program/erase cycle with eMLC NAND, about as high as more expensive and faster single level cell flash. SMART SSDs are used in Xiotech's Hybrid ISE storage blade, and IBM also takes the product.

SMART got into the SSD business by buying Adtron in February, 2008, for $20m. It is now facing increased competition for OEM SSD sales as much large companies and partnerships like Intel/Micron, Western Digital/Hitachi GST, and Samsung/Seagate power into the market. SMART is also missing out on the PCIe-connected flash market dominated by Fusion-io.

Silver Lake Partners and Silver Lake Sumeru are paying $9.25/share. SMART's CEO Ian MacKenzie, said: "As a private company, we believe we will have greater flexibility to deliver to our customers the benefits of our long term strategies, while managing the volatility of the DRAM cycles that have and will continue to be part of our business model. As a partner with strong technology expertise, Silver Lake will be committed to supporting our ability to grow our business around the world and provide long-term opportunities for our employees, customers and broader industry."

Ken Hao, a Managing Director of Silver Lake Partners, said as much: "We are very pleased to have an opportunity to work with SMART's management team to develop this business going forward in existing and new directions."

Those directions might include building PCIe-connected flash modules and even, El Reg hazards a guess, a business combination with other companies elsewhere in the SSD supply chain. It has to involve something that, were it done by a public company, would involve a substantial loss of shareholder value in the short to medium term. Why else go private?

Other bidders for the company may now step forward and a Special Committee on SMART's board will evaluate any such proposals up to 9 June. The completion of the Silver Lake transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the third 2011 quarter. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?