Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) Corp is considering the sale of African operations it acquired with the takeover of Dimension Data Holdings and is open to approaches from interested buyers, according to three people familiar with the situation.
The assets are valued by Japan’s former phone monopoly at about $800m (about R10bn), said two of the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter hasn’t been made public.
A final decision hasn’t been reached and a deal may not be concluded, they said.
Grant Bodley, CEO of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa, said Nippon isn’t looking to sell the business.
One potential outcome is that MTN Group buys Nippon’s Johannesburg-based Internet Solutions business, which is part of Dimension Data, said one of the people.
MTN is seeking to expand into Internet services for businesses to boost growth in its home market of South Africa and compete with rivals such as Telkom’s fast-growing BCX unit.
Representatives at NTT and Dimension Data in Tokyo wouldn’t immediately comment. MTN didn’t respond to an e-mail sent for comment and couldn’t be reached when several phone calls were made.
Dimension Data’s management are considering whether to offer to buy back the company and re-list on a stock exchange, two of the people said. A sale would come seven years after Nippon expanded into Africa with the R24,4bn acquisition of the company, which has 31 000 employees and offices in 49 countries.
Nippon, based in Tokyo, is the owner of Japan’s biggest mobile-phone company, NTT Docomo. — Reported with assistance from Grace Huang and Colin McClelland, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP