Samsung Electronics is considering buying U.S. PC and mobile memory card maker SanDisk, according to a Korean online report (*Google* translation of the story here), and then later confirmed by the company. After the report came out, Samsung spokesperson said: “We are looking at various opportunities regarding SanDisk (NSDQ: SNDK), but nothing has been decided yet.” The story said Samsung had hired J.P. Morgan as the banker for these negotiations.
Samsung is the world’s top maker of NAND and DRAM flash chips and pays SanDisk about $353.8 million a year in licensing fees, and with this acquisition it is looking at reducing this expense, the story said. NAND flash memory is used in digital media gadgets such as cameras and music players, something SanDisk is strong in. DRAM chips are used mostly in PCs. SanDisk has been positioning itself as a consumer player in the digital media marketplace, and even launched a video-to-TV video service last year, though that closed down quickly. It does have the Sansa line of MP3 players (a distant iPod competitor), and in June acquired MusicGremlin, a maker of technology to deliver music over Wi-Fi, to integrate it within its next generation of its MP3 players. It has also been positioning its mobile memory chips as a content delivery system, and has a new-ish site called Wakeupyourphone to promote them.
In August there were rumors that in-storage drive maker Seagate might be interested in buying all or part of SanDisk, though nothing came out of it.