On Wednesday, hard drive manufacturer Seagate announced that it will acquire a controlling interest in LaCie. Seagate has agreed to purchase 64.5 percent of LaCie's outstanding shares, according to a LaCie press release.
The acquisition is the latest in a series of mergers of storage companies. Last March, Western Digital finalized its acquisition of Hitachi GST. In December of last year, Seagate acquired Samsung’s hard drive business.
The Seagate/LaCie merger is on a smaller scale than those other two, but it’s still an interesting turn of events: Seagate mechanisms frequently show up in LaCie-branded drives. Seagate does have an external hard drive business, but its product designs are more industrial (or perhaps “traditional”) than LaCie's. The latter employs designers including Philippe Starck, Porsche Design, and Christofle to create consumer products that are, according to LaCie’s company profile, “beautiful and performance-driven.”
LaCie chairman and CEO Philippe Spruch will join Seagate as the leader of the company’s consumer storage products division. The press release also says that Seagate will be “adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions” to Seagate’s current lineup—which would indicate that LaCie’s products won’t be going away, at least in the near future. It remains to be seen whether LaCie’s products will be rebranded with the Seagate name or the LaCie brand will continue.