Japan’s NTT to buy South Africa’s Dimension Data

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. said Thursday it has agreed to buy South Africa’s Dimension Data Holdings Plc for 2.1 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) in a deal that advances the Japanese company’s efforts to expand its global business.

Japan’s biggest telecommunications company, also known as NTT, is offering 120 pence per share of the Johannesburg-based IT service provider. The price was 18 percent higher than Dimension Data’s closing price Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange.

Dimension’s shares surged nearly 20 percent after news of the deal broke.

In a joint statement, the companies cited their areas of expertise as complementary. NTT builds and runs networks, data centers and mobile services, while Dimension Data focuses on helping clients operate and maintain IT systems.

They mesh geographically as well, they said. NTT does most of its business in Asia, the U.S. and Europe. Dimension Data has a strong foothold in Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

The acquisition reflects NTT’s drive to find growth overseas amid a saturated and shrinking home market. By bringing Dimension Data under its umbrella, NTT will inherit its 6,000 customers in 49 countries.

Last year, NTT’s mobile phone unit NTT DoCoMo Inc. bought a 26 percent static in India’s Tata Teleservices Ltd. and almost 80 percent of Germany’s net mobile AG.

The all-cash deal has been approved by Dimension Data’s board. NTT expects to finish the transaction by the end of October.

Associated Press