Japanese telecommunications operator NTT has announced an agreement to acquire UK-listed IT services company Dimension Data for $3.2bn.
The deal, which is aimed at expanding NTT's global footprint, is the largest acquisition for NTT since it bought a 26% stake in India's Tata Teleservices in 2008.
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NTT currently hosts datacentres in 31 countries, mainly in Asia, the US and Europe, but the acquisition will open up Africa, the Middle East and Australia, according to the Financial Times.
The company is expected to focus on cloud computing services as fixed-line and mobile telecoms markets approach the limits of potential growth.
According to analysts, acquiring Dimension Data will help NTT achieve its target of doubling overseas revenues of $1.85bn in 2007 by March 2011.
Dimension Data will remain as a separate business and the management team will remain at the company.
Under the deal, which is expected to close in October, Dimension Data will delist from the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.