NEC is considering a sale of its data centers as the Japanese technology group seeks to streamline its portfolio and raise cash by selling non-core assets, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Tokyo-traded company is looking to hire financial advisers to help prepare a potential sale of the business, which could be valued at $400 million to $500 million (¥59.1 billion to ¥74 billion), the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Other data center operators and infrastructure-focused funds have shown preliminary interest in the assets, the people said.

Considerations are preliminary and a formal sale process may not kick off until later this year, the people said. NEC could also decide to retain a minority stake in the business or even keep the assets for longer, the people said.

A representative for NEC declined to comment.

Founded in 1899, NEC focuses on information technology and network communications, biometric recognition, the internet of things and artificial intelligence technologies, according to its website.

NEC shares have more than doubled over the past 12 months, valuing the company at about $20 billion. Under pressure from activist investors, the company has been selling noncore assets, including its stake in Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics.

In February, NEC sold some of its shares in Japan Aviation Electronics Industry back to the company, cutting its stake to about 34% from 50.8%.

Oasis Management once sought an injunction to halt the share buyback, but the request was dismissed in court later.