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November 30, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:20pm

SUPPLIERS HIT BY FALL OF DISK DRIVE PIONEER MICROPOLIS

By CBR Staff Writer

Micropolis Corp, the disk drive pioneer founded in 1976, has finally closed its doors. Singapore Technologies Pte, the company which acquired the Chatsworth, California-based company back in January 1996 for $47m in cash, pulled the plug in the middle of last month, saying that price erosion and over capacity due to increased competition meant the business was no longer viable. Around 1,300 staff were made redundant. Debts are thought to be in the order of $45m, and the company, which had plants in Singapore and Thailand and research and development centres in Chatsworth and Scotts Valley, California, is in the process of being liquidated by Coopers & Lybrand. The company had been preparing to bring a new range of 20Gb disk drives to market. As a result of the liquidation, Milpitas, California-based Read-Rite Corp, which supplied Micropolis with disk drive heads, said it expected to take a one time charge in its fourth quarter of $15m to establish a reserve for Micropolis-related expenses. And Santa Clara, California-based StorMedia Inc, a thin-film disk manufacturer which saw its revenues decline by 46% last quarter, relied on Micropolis for around 20% of its revenues, accounting for some $4m last quarter. Most of its other business came from Seagate Technology Inc, although StorMedia said it has just gained new orders from Samsung Corp and Western Digital Corp. Meanwhile StreamLogic Corp, the disk subsystem integrator formed from what was left of Micropolis after the Singapore acquisition last year, has set out its re-organization plans. StreamLogic, also based in Chatsworth, has been trading under Chapter 11 since June 26 (CI No 3,192). The company says it plans to sell off its non-core assets and hopes to base its recovery around its Hammer Storage Solutions division, which sells disk arrays for digital video, multimedia and graphics applications for the Macintosh, Windows NT and Silicon Graphics markets.

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