On Monday, Nikkei Asian Review reported in an exclusive that Japanese telecommunications group NTT is planning a take-private deal for the nation’s largest wireless carrier, NTT Docomo. The $38 billion transaction, said to be announced “soon,” would be the largest tender offer on record for a Japanese company, second only to the 2002 three-way merger that formed Mizuho Financial Group in terms of overall deal size.

Per Nikkei’s reporting, NTT, which already owned 64% of Docomo’s outstanding shares as of March 31, 2020, will offer to buy out remaining Docomo shareholders at a 30% premium to the current stock price, delisting the company upon completion of the transaction.

The newspaper reported that the deal will better enable Docomo to cut prices for wireless services, said to be a priority of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s new administration. The Suga government is already accelerating preparations for a government agency under newly appointed Digital Transformation Minister Takuya Hirai to lead digitization efforts across Japanese society.

According to Nikkei Asian News, private ownership of Docomo will also enable faster, more effective decision-making with NTT’s other holdings, particularly in the area of 5G investment.

5G alliance takes shape

On Friday, Prime Minister Suga reportedly spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi on a call in which the countries agreed to partner of technical development of 5G and 5G-plus technologies along with fellow members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) forum, namely the U.S. and Australia, along with Israel.

A meeting of QUAD foreign ministers slated to take place in Japan next month will reportedly discuss next-generation telecommunications technologies. According to India’s Hindustan Times, Suga told Prime Minister Modi on Friday that that Japan “wanted to push QUAD with other three partners and contribute to multilateral efforts for a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific.’”

That newspaper quoted an official close to the talks as saying: “India and Japan have agreed to closely cooperate and develop 5G and advanced technologies, with US and Australia ramping up technological support. We are also taking help from Israel. There are discussions on within the government and our 5G policy will take a final shape in the coming days. But Japan will be a close partner nevertheless,” said an official involved in the exercise.

…And news out of Africa

Also on Monday, NTT—which happens also to be one of the world’s largest data center operators, with more than 160 centers in over 20 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and APAC,— announced a new data center expansion project in Johannesburg, South Africa. As part of its its partnership with South African systems integrator and managed services provider Dimension Data, the Johannesburg 1 Data Center will be located in the Central Point Innovation District, convenient to the airport and city center. The expanded data center will offer diverse fiber connectivity, fully redundant power supply and cooling infrastructure, as well as an innovation showcase area.

“Johannesburg 1 Data Center will enable us to increase our capabilities and global capacity, to meet our international clients’ expanding needs for infrastructure across the African market”, said Florian Winkler, CEO of the Global Data Centers EMEA division of NTT Ltd.

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