Seagate going private…again?

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Storage and disk drive manufacturer Seagate has revealed that it’s in discussions with an unnamed party about taking the company private, which would mean de-listing the company from the stock market and converting to a privately-held entity. Seagate hasn’t named its suitor, but says it has hired Morgan Stanley and Perella Weinberg Partners to provide financial advice, as well as retained legal counsel. Seagate says there is no assurance at this time that they’ll receive a formal offer to take the company private.

Such a move would actually mark the second time Seagate has backed away from being a publicly traded company. Seagate was founded back in 1979, but in 2000 a group of investors led by Silver Lake Capital and the Texas Pacific Group took the company private in a transaction worth about $1.7 billion. However, when the dot-com bubble burst, Seagate went public again to raise funds, relaunching as a public company in 2002 with an IPO that brought in around $870 million, making it one of the largest IPOs of the time.

Seagate’s current CEO, Steve Luczo, was one of the founders of the Silver Lake Capital fund. Luczo was named Seagate’s CEO in 1998, although he gave up the CEO chair (retaining a his role as board chairman) in 2004. In early 2009, Seagate’s board appointed Luczo president and CEO.

Although Seagate was founded in Ireland, the bulk of its more than 50,000 employees worth in Asia. The company is headquartered in California.

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