SanDisk is the largest flash supplier in the world and large volumes of their memory is originally fabbed by Samsung – it could be that Samsung sees this as a chance to consolidate. Particularly as flash technologies become increasingly important to mass storage companies with the introduction of SSDs, Samsung may be seeking to leverage SanDisk as a way to boost their own flash products.
The move could also be seen as an attempt to anticipate rival Toshiba in the memory chip market. SanDisk has close ties to Toshiba and, while the two are behind Samsung in the flash market, they are expected to double its chip production capacity soon. An acquisition of SanDisk would not only be a huge hit to Toshiba’s business, it could also help Samsung cut the amount of royalties it pays to SanDisk relating to flash memory patents.
Just a few weeks ago it was rumored that Seagate was also considering a SanDisk buyout. That seems less likely to be true now with such statements by Samsung.