Seagate buys backup services company

Company acquires EVault for $185 million to add to its managed services business

Hard drive maker Seagate Technology LLC will buy EVault Inc. for US$185 million in an acquisition designed to bolster Seagate's managed services business, the company said on Thursday.

EVault, based in Emeryville, California, provides online network backup, recovery and data protection products for small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs). Seagate said the market segment comprises 74 million businesses and represents a multi-billion dollar growth area.

EVault is a privately-held company founded in 1997 and has 250 employees and 8,500 customers in financial, heath care and legal organizations.

The company specializes in on-site and in-lab data recovery for corrupted or inaccessible storage devices and often serves SMBs with limited infrastructure.

Seagate has sought over the last three years to expand its customer base from its core disc-drive business into managed services. Seagate Services focuses on backup, recovery and archiving for SMBs.

EVault is Seagate's third acquisition in the managed services field. Last year, Seagate bought Mirra Inc., a maker of hardware and software that lets PC users back up their data and access it from any PC connected to the Internet.

Also in 2005, Seagate scooped up ActionFront Data Recovery Labs Inc., an in-lab data recovery company.

Seagate said it expects the EVault deal to close by April, its third fiscal quarter for 2007.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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