Seagate revealed today that it has received a “preliminary indication of interest” regarding a going private transaction. The recently deposed world’s largest hard drive manufacturer is mum on exactly who is behind in the buyout talks, but apparently it has already hired financial services firms Morgan Stanley and Perella Weinberg Partners to provide advice as it explores the possibility of leaving the publicly traded market. Seagate was quick to stress that there is no assurance a formal offer or any transaction will take place, though.
If a deal indeed takes place, this would be would be the second time in Seagate’s history that it has gone private. However, with a market capitalization of about $6 billion today, the company is worth less than a third the approximately $20 billion private equity firm Silver Lake Partners paid for them in 2000.
Seagate has been making some interesting progress in the hard drive space, with drives such as the Momentus XT which uses embedded flash cache to provide near solid state drive performance when reading data. It also was first to market with a 3TB drive. But as ZDNet’s Larry Dignan points out, the timing might be right for a buyout deal, with sales starting to slow down as new HDD-less devices like tablets and smartphones continue to gain popularity.