British mobile phone giant Vodafone Group PLC reached a final accord Saturday on the sale of its fixed-line subsidiary, Japan Telecom Co., to U.S. investment fund Ripplewood Holdings LLC for about 260 billion yen, company sources said.
The deal will be announced by the companies by the end of this month, the sources said.
It is one of the largest investments in Japan by Ripplewood, which has purchased the former Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, now Shinsei Bank, and the former Nippon Columbia Co., now Columbia Music Entertainment Inc.
Ripplewood aims to turn Japan Telecom, Japan’s third-largest fixed-line carrier, into a competitive broadband services provider that rivals Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and KDDI Corp., the sources said.
Japan Telecom is currently owned by Vodafone subsidiary Japan Telecom Holdings Co. The holding company also owns J-Phone Co., a cell phone company.
Vodafone plans to integrate J-Phone with the holding company to make it a specialized cell phone firm, the sources said. The new company will include Vodafone in its name, they said.
Last year, Vodafone tried to sell Japan Telecom to Tokyo Electric Power Co., but the deal broke down due to differences over the price.
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