Imation Inks Deal with TDK, Closing OK Facility

The company will jointly develop and manufacture magnetic tape technologies with TDK and will discontinue its magnetic tape coating operations in Oklahoma-resulting in the elimination of about 115 positions.

Just a week after Imation Corporation said that it was shifting its focus from branding back to data storage and technology, it announced that it has signed a deal with TDK to jointly develop and manufacture magnetic tape technologies.

Under the agreement, which was announced Tuesday, the companies will collaborate on the research and development of future tape formats at the companies' research centers while consolidating tape coating operations to the TDK Group manufacturing facility in Yamanashi, Japan.

Imation will close its remaining manufacturing facility in Oklahoma by April, resulting in the elimination of about 115 positions. The company said in a news release that it is providing financial assistance and outplacement support to employees affected by the closure.

In addition, Imation will also cut about 5 to 10 jobs from its headquarters facility in Oakdale, Mary Rawlings-Taylor, director of corporate communications, told Twin Cities Business on Wednesday. Those jobs provide research, development, and engineering (RD&E) services related to the magnetic tape coating operations in Oklahoma that are being phased out.

The company, however, will continue RD&E initiative at its headquarters. Rawlings-Taylor said that the company is hiring about 30 employees who will work in RD&E in areas like highly secure storage and audio engineering.

Imation's data storage portfolio currently includes what it calls “traditional storage”-including magnetic tape and optical media-but it also comprises external hard drives and other backup devices. New Imation data storage products offer security functions, such as the Defender F200 Biometric Flash Drive, which reads fingerprints to grant access to data.

TDK and Imation have had a longstanding relationship. Imation acquired the TDK brand recording media sales business in 2007 and recently announced that it was launching TDK stereo reminiscent of retro boomboxes.

Imation is among Minnesota's 30-largest public companies based on its 2009 revenue of $1.65 billion.