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February 24th, 2000

[3:30 PM] VST Technologies Being Bought By Flash Media Maker
by Staff

In a surprise announcement, long time Mac peripheral maker VST Technologies has announced that it will be purchased by flash media maker SmartDisk. In a stock and cash deal, SmartDisk expects the acquisition to be complete by the end of the quarter, barring any unexpected regulatory and investor concerns.

According to the two companies:

SmartDisk Corporation today announced that it has agreed to acquire VST Technologies, Inc. for 1.523 million shares of SmartDisk stock and $16.5 million in cash. Boston area-based VST designs, develops, manufactures and markets FireWire and USB-based flash memory readers and high-performance personal storage solutions for PC and Macintosh® platforms.

The acquisition of VST will provide SmartDisk with an expanded product line that addresses the rapidly growing digital video and digital music markets; will afford the company a significant presence in the resurgent market for Apple products; and will contribute advanced FireWire and USB technologies to its product portfolio.

For the year ended December 31, 1999, based upon unaudited financial results, VST personal storage system revenues approximated $55 million.

Although SmartDisk expects to close the acquisition of VST in early March 2000, the transaction is subject to certain standard closing conditions. The acquisition will be accounted for under the purchase method of accounting.

You can find out more about SmartDisk at the company's web site. The company has already added some of VST's product information to their site.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is an interesting development. It would almost seem a reverse buyout from what one expects, except when one takes into account the market cap of SmartDisk. The company is worth more than US$600 million as of the market close, this despite only having 4 different products that are all related. The company includes some heavy hitters in the manufacturing and electronics worlds including Hitachi, Toshiba, and Sony. Not too shabby.

What is interesting is that entering Apple's market was cites as one of the prime reasons for SmartDisk to pursue this buyout. In other words, not only is the company acquiring a hardware product line and the engineers to further it, but that they effectively bought into the Mac market. For this to be part of their stated goal is significant. It was not that long ago when even Mac companies wanted out of the Mac market, and SmartDisk's motives are another clear sign of the depth of Apple's recovery.

VST Technologies - SmartDisk



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