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2 February 2012

Asters Advises Seagate Technology in the Takeover of Samsung Electronics' HDD Business


Asters acted as legal counsel to Seagate Technology, the worldwide manufacturer of HDDs and storage solutions, on the issues of Ukrainian competition law, including obtaining the AMC merger clearance for the acquisition of Samsung Electronics' HDD business and the concerted practices clearance with respect to the relevant non-compete arrangement of the parties.

The total value of the transaction is approximately USD 1.4 billion, consisting of Seagate ordinary shares and cash. The transaction substantially expands Seagate's customer access in China, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Germany and the Russian Federation. It is expected to enable both companies to better align their current and future product development efforts and roadmaps, accelerate time-to-market for new products and position the companies to better address rapidly evolving opportunities in markets including, but not limited to, mobile computing, cloud computing and solid state storage.

The transaction has been thoroughly scrutinized by the AMC during a lengthy and highly complex Phase II investigation, involving negotiation with the AMC of the application of the precedent-making approach to market definition, in particular, as regards the global scope of the relevant geographical market, as well as sophisticated analysis of implications for the affected markets. In particular, notwithstanding the relatively high market shares of the parties on the relevant product markets, the AMC agreed that post-transaction the remaining HDD suppliers will continue to pose competitive restraint on the parties and that the customers will retain sufficient possibilities to switch suppliers. In the outcome, AMC clearances were granted without undertakings, which is unique for similar transactions in Ukraine.

Seagate Technology is active worldwide in the design, manufacture and marketing of a broad range of computer storage devices, consisting mostly of HDDs and Hybrid HDDs for sale for mobile, enterprise, desktop and consumer electronics end-uses. The company also produces thin-film recording media and read/write heads that are for captive use in its HDDs.

Samsung Electronics is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies. Its HDD business designs, manufactures, markets and sells HDDs to original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers, for use in computer systems, subsystems or consumer electronic devices, and to distributors, resellers and retailers.

Asters' team working on the transaction consisted of partner Igor Svechkar, senior associate Tetiana Vovk and associate Olena Stepanenko.



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