OCZ Files for Bankruptcy - Toshiba Offers to Buy the Assetsby Kristian Vättö on November 27, 2013 3:30 PM EST
OCZ has just issued a press release announcing their filing for bankruptcy, which was expected since Nasdaq had halted the trading of OCZ stock earlier today. OCZ has had financial issues for quite a long time and it was just a matter of time before the inevitable happened. While OCZ did try to change its course by reforming their product portfolio when Ryan Petersen, the former CEO of OCZ, stepped down, it seems that the efforts weren't enough to make the business profitable.
OCZ leaves behind a noticeable amount of assets, most importantly its engineering teams in California, South Korea and Great Britain thanks to the prior acquisitions of PLX and Indilinx. Toshiba has already offered to buy OCZ's assets but currently there is no certainty on whether the deal will be completed. Toshiba's offer is, as expected, subject to various conditions such as retention of the employees because it obviously makes no sense to buy the assets unless Toshiba also gets the immaterial capital that is integrated into the employees. We'll have to wait and see how the deal turns out but at this point I recommend not buying any OCZ products because there is no guarantee that warranties will be honored.
It's sad to see OCZ going because they've been one of the pioneers in the consumer SSD industry. They were one of the most active companies when we started to see the first consumer SSDs in 2008/2009 but OCZ lost a ton of sales once Samsung and other major OEMs began to take the consumer SSD market seriously. It's hard to say what ultimately killed OCZ without knowing their exact cost structure but I believe it was a combination of bad strategy (too many products and high production volumes) and engineering choices (low reliability) along with other things.
What happens to OCZ now depends on the completion of the Toshiba deal. Even if Toshiba completes the purchase of OCZ's assets, I doubt we'll see the OCZ brand anymore. OCZ's brand image took a hit with the low reliability, so I doubt Toshiba will see the OCZ brand adding any value to its products. I do hope that the deal goes through because OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 platform has a lot of potential and it would be lamentable to see all that hard work to be flushed down the toilet.