Seagate to remain a public company after all

After announcing its intentions to seek a sale to a private equity firm in October, Seagate decides against it. Instead the hard-drive maker will buy back $2 billion worth of its stock.

After considering its options, Seagate has decided to stick it out as a public company.

The Scotts Valley, Calif.-based hard-drive maker said today that after taking a look at what private equity firms were offering, it will not take the company private, and will instead buy back $2 billion worth of stock from shareholders.

"We appreciate the interest shown by the private equity firms and our dialogues with them were extensive and thoughtful," Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo said in a statement. "However, management and the board have chosen to cease discussions concerning a private equity-led leveraged buyout. Given the strong debt markets, improving business conditions and other financing options, Seagate has initiated a plan to further optimize its capital structure to maximize shareholder returns."

Luczo announced in October that the company was exploring a sale to a private equity firm. It was reported that at least two firms were interested.

Seagate has taken the private equity option before. Back in 2000, the hard-drive maker was bought out for $20 billion by Silver Lake Partners, only to step back into the public markets just two years later.

In the last few years, as one of the largest hard-drive makers in the world, Seagate has seen its business take a hit from the drop in consumer and corporate PC sales. This time, however, it appears it plans to ride out this rough patch with its books in the public eye.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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