Word is going around that Toshiba and Fujitsu are planning to merge their hard disk drive units to cut costs:
Toshiba, Japan’s biggest chipmaker, would have a majority stake in any joint venture, the people said. Fujitsu, a maker of chips, computers and software, is in discussions with several companies about its hard-disk drive business, spokesman Etsuro Yamada said.
Fujitsu shares surged as much as 8.6 percent and Toshiba gained on speculation a partnership may help the Tokyo-based companies improve margins and gain ground on the biggest makers of hard-disk drives for personal computers. The combined operations would have revenue of almost 700 billion yen ($7.8 billion), more than that of the disk-drive business of Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer.
“The deal would be positive for both companies in that Fujitsu can jettison the money-losing unit and Toshiba can expand a potentially profitable business,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co., which manages $6.1 billion of assets.