Seagate to buy LaCie in $186 million deal

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Hard-drive maker Seagate Technology PLC said Wednesday is buying French consumer storage products company LaCie SA in a deal valued at €146 million ($186 million).

Seagate said the deal will accelerate its growth in the expanding consumer-storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan.

Seagate would get a controlling interest in LaCie by buying the shares held by LaCie Chairman and CEO Philippe Spruch and his affiliate. Those shares represent 64.5 percent of the outstanding shares of LaCie.

Spruch would join Seagate and lead the company's consumer-storage products organization after the close of the deal.

Seagate has offered Spruch and his affiliate €4.05 per share in cash, which represents a 29 percent premium to LaCie's average closing stock price over the 30 trading days ended May 22. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012, pending regulatory approvals. Seagate said it would be neutral to its fiscal 2013 earnings per share.

The price could be adjusted depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing.

The companies said the price may be increased by a possible price supplement of 3 percent in the event that the threshold of 95 percent of the shares and voting rights of LaCie would be reached by Seagate within six months following closing, resulting in a maximum potential price per LaCie share of €4.17 euros.

Seagate said the deal would be neutral to its fiscal 2013 earnings per share.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP served as legal advisor to Seagate in connection with the deal. De Pardieu Brocas Maffei A.A.R.P.I. served as legal advisor to LaCie.

Seagate's shares were off 79 cents to $25.59 in late trading.