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Seagate private equity whispers begin... AGAIN

Hello Steve, it's 2010 calling...

WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Seagate is reported to be talking to private equity firms about shifting off the stock market and back into private ownership. This would be the second time it has held such talks, so it's anybody's guess if anything will come of it.

We heard about it from Aaron Rakers, a Stifel Nicolaus analyst of good repute, and he heard about from a subscription-based, market intelligence media site, StreetAccount.

Seagate was looking at going private in 2010 (background trail starts here) But the talks foundered, apparently over a disagreement over Seagate's worth.

Since then the hard disk drive industry has consolidated to just three major players: Western Digital/Hitachi GST, Seagate/Samsung and Toshiba. This should produce a stability of supply and stable pricing, possibly making valuation easier.

What hasn't changed in the past two years is that Seagate's chairman, president and CEO is still Steve Luczo. Could it be he fancies a third private equity deal go-round? We've asked the company but expect a "no comment on rumour or speculation" response. ®

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