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Seagate Acquires EVault

Hard-disk drive manufacture makes move into online data storage.

(San Jose, Calif.) Seagate Technology LLC, the world's largest maker of hard-disk drives, was to announce Thursday it has agreed to acquire EVault Inc., an online data storage service provider, for about $185 million in cash.

The move would widen Seagate's service offerings in a growing arena fueled by the demands of companies and individuals to store and keep backups of massive amounts of digital data.

EVault, a privately held company based in Emeryville, specializes in providing automatic backup and data recovery services to small- to medium-sized businesses. It was founded in 1997, has more than 250 employees and serves more than 8,500 customers worldwide.

Seagate, a $9.2 billion company which is based in the Cayman Islands but operates out of Scotts Valley, is expanding beyond its core business of making the disk drives that have long powered computers and more recently, electronics as well.

In 2005, it acquired Mirra Inc., a maker of personal servers that allow consumers or small businesses to easily upload and share files, and recover them later if needed. Seagate also acquired ActionFront Data Recovery Labs, a provider of professional data recovery services.

Both those companies operate as wholly owned subsidiaries. Seagate plans the same for EVault, though EVault and ActionFront will fall under a newly formed Seagate Services business unit, said Brian Dexheimer, a Seagate executive vice president.

The deal with EVault is expected to close in Seagate's fiscal third quarter following regulatory approvals, the company said.

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