Japan’s NTT considers taking mobile unit private in $38bn deal

Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) said it is looking at taking full control of its wireless carrier business in a deal that could be worth approximately 4 trillion yen ($38bn) and pave the way for price cuts in the mobile phone industry.

The buyout will be discussed at a board meeting on Tuesday, NTT said in a statement after the Nikkei newspaper reported the deal.

The value of the 34 percent of NTT Docomo Inc’s shares not owned by NTT is based on a 30 percent premium to Monday’s closing price, Reuters calculations showed.

The move came as Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihide Suga launched a fresh attempt to push the country’s three biggest mobile network providers into cutting fees. The government is NTT’s biggest shareholder, with a 34 percent stake in the company.

At $38bn, the deal would be the fifth-largest M&A transaction involving a Japanese company, Refinitiv data showed. It would also be the largest-ever offer for a Japanese company, according to Nikkei.

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