Western has agreed to buy SanDisk for around $19 billion in cash and stock.

The deal, approved by the boards of both companies, will create a storage giant with expertise in hard disks and flash memory, assuring the future of WD as its traditional business of spinning disks is gradually replaced by solid-state chips.

WD has recent experience of big mergers, having acquired hard disk rival Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in a $3.9 billion deal. Although the deal closed in March 2012, the companies still operate under two separate brands, WD and HGST.

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