Western Digital's move to acquire SanDisk received its final regulatory approval today, paving the way for the storage manufacturer to become even larger this Thursday when the transaction is expected to be completed. The deal is worth approximately $19 billion, and was originally announced in October of 2015.

Western Digital is one of the largest hard drive manufacturers, along with Seagate. The buyout of SanDisk gives the company a strong foothold in the growing NAND storage market at a time demand for hard disk storage is slowing down.

SanDisk is currently the third-largest producer of NAND flash in the world, behind Toshiba and industry leader Samsung. It's best known its for flash memory cards, USB sticks and consumer SSD drives, but the company also does enterprise notebook hard drives and has OEM memory components deals with Apple and Nvidia.

"We are pleased that the final regulatory approval has been received and we can now proceed with the planned combination with Western Digital," said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief executive officer, SanDisk. "We thank our stakeholders for their support of this transaction and look forward to contributing to the success of Western Digital as it transforms into the leading storage solutions company."

Today's final regulatory announcement comes from China's Ministry of Commerce. The transaction previously had received regulatory approvals in the U.S., E.U., Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, South Africa and Turkey.