OCZ is on the hook for a loan from Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc., and it looks like the SSD manufacturer is unable to pay. This week, Hercules seized control of the company’s assets, leaving OCZ little choice but to declare bankruptcy and facilitate sales of its properties to another company.
That company is looking increasingly like Toshiba – who’ll use the former’s poor economic position to re-ignite its efforts in the flash storage market. Toshiba, as a primary NAND manufacturer, can take advantage of its existing properties to achieve profit margins on a retail SSD that OCZ just can’t match.
OCZ is known for being one of the first companies to really cut the price on consumer-level SSDs, in part by offering them in small – like 32GB and 64GB – and affordable quantities.
They’ve been plagued, however, by reports of hit-and-miss quality control and poor customer service; we also know firsthand of a site that OCZ tried to blacklist after not receiving a sufficiently praiseworthy review of one of its products.
Still, the company is to be commended for its care of employees during this difficult time (this is, undoubtedly, worrisome news to receive for employees heading into the holiday season), as its sale to Toshiba is dependent upon a number of factors, including employee retention.
There’s a ways to go before the deal is complete; a bankruptcy court must accept Toshiba’s offer as the best deal for Hercules and any other creditors; if the offer falls through, OCZ is expecting to immediately declare bankruptcy and liquidate all of its assets.
If you’re looking to pick up an OCZ drive on the cheap, we recommend holding off until things shake out – if Toshiba acquires the company, it’s likely they’ll also be honoring any warranty claims. If it falls through, then there may be some exciting deals in store to account for the fact that the products will have essentially no warranties.