Case ID: 201063
Solution ID: 22
Words: 2278
Price $ 75

Seagate Technology Buyout

Overview of Case Solution

This case is around the utilized buyout of Seagate Technology. Seagate Technology offered its Network and Storage Management Group to VERITAS, in May 1999. Within the exchange, Seagate Technology acquired 155 million shares of VERITAS, which paid for for 40% stake in VERITAS. Following the transaction, the stock cost of VERIATS elevated 200%, whereas the cost of Seagate increased at just 25%. This cost improvement in VERITAS made investment value a lot more than Seagate Equity. Seagate couldn't sell its VERITAS stake since it would raise an enormous tax liability. To solve the problem Seagate joined a utilized buyout of their disk drive assets to Silver Lake Partners and merger of remaining assets with VERITAS.

Excel Calculations

Calculation of WACC for Seagate Leveraged Buyout

NPV Base Case

  Scenario 1

  Scenario 2


  Free Cash Flow

  DCF at Unlevered cost of equity

  PV tax shield

  Total value of tax shield

  FCF for repayment of debt

NPV Upside case

NPV downside case

Questions Covered

Why is Seagate undertaking these transactions (the buyout and the stock swap with Veritas)? Is this necessary to divest the Veritas shares in separate transaction? Who are the winners and losers resulting from these transactions (e.g., Seagate shareholders, Seagate management, Veritas shareholders, Silver Lake Partners)?

What are the benefits of leveraged buyouts? Is the rigid disk drive industry conducive to a leveraged buyout?

Suppose that, as an investor prior to the announcement of the Silver Lake transaction,you want exposure to Seagate’s disk drive assets but not their Veritas stake. What trade/s could you undertake to gain this exposure? How much cash would be required for your recommended trade?

Why are Seagate & VERITAS are priced the way they are and how does that relate to finance theory?

What other ‘soft-issues’ problems are caused by the relative pricing of Seagate & VERITAS?

Luczo and the buyout team plan to finance their acquisition of Seagate’s operating assets using a combination of debt and equity. How much debt would you recommend that they use? Why? (Hint: use the projections in Exhibit 8 and the information in Exhibit 11, together with your personal judgement based on the text of the case, to estimate a reasonable annual amount of debt the company should carry) 

Based on the scenarios presented in Exhibit 8, and on your assessment of the optimal amount of debt to be used in Seagate’s capital structure, estimate the value of Seagate’s operating assets

What rating is the debt likely to get when the deal closes? What interest rate is the company likely to pay? How will these change over time as the business grows and the debt gets repaid?

Exhibit 10 shows that Morgan Stanley estimated Seagate’s terminal value using a multiple of EBITA. How does their procedure compare to the one you used in question 4? What growth rate assumption does Morgan Stanley’s calculation implicitly make?