The company is emerging from a multi-year investment cycle which has significantly increased the opportunities and potential of its core semiconductor business. The strategic decision to divest the external storage systems business was based on the company’s expectation that long-term shareholder value can be maximized by becoming a pure-play semiconductor company.
“We’re excited by the opportunities we have been pursuing in our semiconductor business and are well positioned at the forefront of a strong pipeline of design win ramps that we expect to drive top line growth,” said Abhi Talwalkar, LSI president and chief executive officer. “Going forward as a pure-play storage and networking semiconductor company, we believe we can accelerate the achievement of our current business model, establish a richer business model target, and deliver greater long-term shareholder value.”
Under terms of the agreement, NetApp will purchase substantially all the assets of the LSI external storage systems business, which develops and delivers Engenio® external storage systems products and technology to a wide range of partners that provide storage solutions to end customers. The business being purchased generated revenues of $705 million in 2010.
The LSI RAID adapter business, which develops LSI® MegaRAID® and 3ware® storage controllers and software for direct-attached storage environments, will remain with LSI.
Upon closing, most LSI external storage systems employees are expected to join NetApp, a global provider of storage and data management solutions.
“NetApp will build upon the success of the Engenio storage platform and OEM business model to expand our total addressable market and extend our market reach,” said Tom Georgens, NetApp president and CEO. “We’re excited about the talented team that will join NetApp and the valuable OEM partner relationships we’re committed to supporting and making successful.”
Talwalkar added, “As the market requirements for external storage systems continue to trend toward more comprehensive solutions and offerings, greater investment levels are required to enable additional growth opportunities. We believe that NetApp is well positioned to provide the needed technologies and scale to grow the external storage systems business and better serve our customers going forward.”
As a result of the sale, LSI expects to eliminate $35 million to $40 million per quarter of operating expenses upon closing of the transaction.
LSI expects the combined effect of the transaction, its associated expense reduction, the new stock repurchase program and anticipated strong revenue growth in its semiconductor business going forward to be slightly dilutive to 2011 earnings per share (EPS) and neutral to accretive to 2012 EPS.
The company does not expect to incur any material tax obligations in connection with the transaction and expects to provide additional financial information after closing the transaction.
The transaction is expected to close in approximately 60 days, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals including those required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
Stock repurchases under the newly authorized program are expected to be funded from the proceeds of the sale of the external storage systems business, available cash and short-term investments.
“Our business is tracking consistent with the guidance we provided in January, and we’re confident that the steps we are taking today will position us to achieve our business model operating margin target by the end of 2011,” said Bryon Look, LSI CFO and chief administrative officer. “This new repurchase program underscores our belief in the future earnings power of LSI as a pure-play semiconductor company.”