Major telecom carrier KDDI is planning to raise its stake in Lawson to 50% to jointly run the convenience chain with the aim of taking advantage of the latter's nationwide retail store network and customer base while offering technology to transform its business model, the two firms said Tuesday.

KDDI currently holds 2.1% of Lawson shares but will invest about ¥500 billion ($3.4 billion) to increase its stake through a tender offer that will likely start around April and finish in September. If the deal is realized, KDDI will manage Lawson with trading house Mitsubishi Corp., which now holds 50.1% of Lawson stake, and will take the convenience chain private.

The move could benefit both firms, as KDDI — Japan's second-largest mobile carrier in terms of the number of subscribers — would be able to expand its own economic clout to attract and retain users. Lawson, which is the third-largest chain of convenience stores in terms of the number of outlets, aims to integrate KDDI's technology to improve services at its stores and tap the online shopping market.