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In what is certainly one of the last pages in the OCZ saga, the company announced this afternoon that it has signed an asset purchase agreement with Toshiba Corporation to acquire substantially all of OCZ's assets in a chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding for $35 million.
The acquisition will land Toshiba access to OCZ's proprietary controller, firmware, and softeare and well as the engineering teams responsible for these technologies. OCZ will continue to operate and server existing and future customers during a transition phase, and Toshiba will provide the company with the capital to operate during this period. The sale is expected to finalize within the next 60-days.
You would think that if you walked into the Google HQ, that you'd see Chromebooks sprawled everywhere, but that is not the case. Google's OS of choice, is Apple's Mac OS X platform, with the company imposing Mac use to all its employees.
The company supports most operating systems, including Windows, Linux and its own Chrome OS. Google System Engineer, Clay Caviness, says: "There was a time when Macs were a small part of the Google fleet, but as of now if you start at Google and want to use a platform other than Mac you have to make a business case."
I can see where Google is coming from, Macs are great, and overall, more 'stable' than Windows. I think this is in part to Macs being more secure, and its user base is nowhere near the size of Windows' user base. But, everyone has their preferences. Google's Chairman, Eric Schmidt, had some interesting things to say about the 'superiority' of Macs versus PCs, where he compared Android devices with Macs.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Foxconn has hired more workers, and thanks to its high volume production capabilities, iPhone 5S availability is improving and is now able to meet consumers' demand.
Apple has a 3-5 business day shipping time on the iPhone 5S, which is much better than the 2-3 week wait from last month. Foxconn hires around 300,000 workers at its Zhengzhou site, which is dedicated to manufacturing the iPhone 5S, and some of its most key components. The Journal's source, who was an "executive who declined to be named", said: "we have been churning out about 500,000 iPhone 5Ss everyday, the highest daily output ever."
Bitcoins are massive business right now, with the value of the digital currency passing $1000 for the first time ever. This is a gigantic milestone for the digital currency, and represents a 4000% year-over-year increase in value.
People who have sold their Bitcoins early would be feeling quite ill right now, with an early Bitcoin owner purchasing 10,000 Bitcoins for just $50. He ended up giving his Bitcoins away, but if he had held onto those 10,000 Bitcoins, it would be worth a very swift $10 million today. The Winklevoss twins purchased $11 million worth if Bitcoins back in April, which cost them $120 a piece - an investment that has turned into $90 million or so right now.
I was so close to getting into Bitcoin when it first launched, but backed off - even a small investment back then would be worth magnitudes more now, which makes me a sad man.
We all know how harsh the US government is on piracy and illegal activities, and while we have Vice President Joe Biden saying things like "piracy is theft, clean and simple", the same government he works for was doing just that: stealing.
The US government has been in a multi-million dispute with Apptricity, a software company that makes enterprise software that manages the US Army's troops and supply movements. The deal struck between Apptricity and the US government was signed in 2004, and allowed the US government to use Apptricity's software on five servers and 150 standalone devices.
The company explains: "The Army has used Apptricity's integrated transportation logistics and asset management software across the Middle East and other theaters of operation. The Army has also used the software to coordinate emergency management initiatives, including efforts following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti."
Today PayPal announced that it has began supporting prepaid gift cards through PalPal Checkout for online purchases. This is big business for PayPal and many online retailers who do not normally accept prepaid gift cards because they do not have an address attached to them.
PayPal will be collecting a 2.9-percent fee per purchase as well as a $0.30 per transaction fee each time you swipe the gift card. This new offering from PayPal is yet another push to generate even more revenue streams and should prove to be quite profitable over the holiday season. Would you rather receive a gift or a gift card over the holidays? Let us know in the comments.
Back on October 14th TweakTown first heard a rumor that OCZ was entertaining an offer from Toshiba acquire the company. This was a big deal as OCZ's CEO had recently announced that his company had been having issues acquiring NAND flash modules to build its SSDs. The company had also just posted some very bad losses for Q3 2013, and everything looked ripe for Toshiba to pick up the company for a song.
Soon after, the rumors died down and we mostly thought that they had been just that, Rumors. Fast forward a few weeks and on November 4th, I broke a developing story about Toshiba's stock falling by more than 22-percent in just hours after the market opened. I reached out to OCZ to which a reply never came. By the end of the day, the stock had fallen by more than 30-percent to just $0.65 per share, a 52-week low. Upon opening the next day, OCZ saw its stock fall another 30-percent to $0.44 per share.
By November 9th, OCZ's stock was back up to $0.85 per share which was widely attributed to the release of the new SSD that was seeing great reviews across the web including TweakTown. Ten days later on November 19th, TweakTown received word that OCZ had laid off 15-percent of its workforce in an effort to ease its massive $2 million per month cash burn. It appeared as if the SSD manufacturer was attempting to dig itself out of the deep hole it had fallen into. At this point the company's stock had leveled off at around $0.70 per share.
With OCZ's officially announcing that Toshiba has bought the entirety of its assets but not the company as a whole, trading has opened back up and in just the past few minutes we have seen the stock drop by 75-percent. OCZ opened at $0.35 per share and at the time of this writing is trading at just above $0.168 per share.
The death of OCZ is finally here and with no assets left to compete in the industry, the company will most likely be de-listed by the end of the day. The markets have about an hour left before trading closes and in the time it has taken me to write this paragraph, the stock has fell another few points to just $0.162 per share.
Earlier I reported that trading had been suspended on OCZ's stock, and it appears that there may be more to the story than just having its stock trading halted. Unnamed sources have told TweakTown that Toshiba has quietly completed its acquisition of OCZ's assets as the company prepares to file for bankruptcy and that the companies closed escrow on most of OCZ's assets yesterday.
In a call just weeks ago OCZ's CEO, Ralph Schmitt, stated that in-house manufacturing was halted and a third-party had picked up manufacturing. Weeks later TweakTown reported from the rumor mill that OCZ and Toshiba were talking. Last week Storage Review displayed a picture of an OCZ Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller in a Panasonic SSD. Panasonic is another company based in Japan and has close ties to Toshiba. Panasonic wouldn't release a new SSD with a controller from a company headed for bankruptcy without some inside knowledge.
Now the events over the last 30 days make perfect sense. When a major investor pulled out due to OCZ's cash burn issues, Toshiba swooped in and made the company an offer it could not refuse. This explains the lack of statements made to investors when things started turning south.
Today it appears that the ongoing saga of OCZ's roller coaster ride on the stock market has finally came to an end. Earlier this morning, weeks of ups and downs in the company's share price as well as rumors of massive financial troubles finally came to a head when trading was halted on the SSD manufactures stock.
Trading was suspended after shares failed to rebound above $1 over the last 30 days, and solidifies rumors that the company is quickly approaching its end of life. I have reached out to several industry analyst, and the general conscious appears to be that the company will either file bankruptcy very soon, or someone like Toshiba will swoop in and buy OCZ for pennies on the dollar. Personally I am expecting them to be bought out, as that makes the most sense at this point.
A few weeks back, our own Chris Ramseyer all but predicted today's outcome in his review of OCZ Vector 150 120GB SSD. Chris poised a question, asking if OCZ would be around six months from now, and I guess the answer has arrived.