• Compiled From Wire Services

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Softbank Corp. said Tuesday it will acquire Cable & Wireless IDC Inc., a Japanese unit of British telecommunications firm Cable & Wireless PLC, for 12.3 billion yen.

The acquisition follows Softbank’s purchase of Japan Telecom Co. in July. Softbank founder Masayoshi Son has used a string of takeovers to compete with NTT.

With the purchase, Softbank will become the second-biggest Japanese player in both the international telephone and data communications markets in terms of consolidated revenue.

Cable & Wireless’ exit from the country follows the sale of its U.S. business this year to focus on the U.K. and Caribbean. However, the company will retain network capability in Japan with two international data nodes to provide its international customers with services to and from Japan.

Francesco Caio, the chief executive of Cable and Wireless, released a statement saying the Japanese unit is “a sound business operating in a highly competitive market.”

“However,” Caio added, “given our strategy to focus on businesses with strong positions in their primary markets, we have concluded that IDC is not a good strategic fit with our business going forward, although it has value to the right owner.”

The sale leaves Britain’s Vodafone as the sole major foreign carrier operating in Japan.

The Cable and Wireless unit was formed when the British company acquired IDC, a Japanese international telephone operator, in June 1999, but it has struggled against rivals NTT and KDDI Corp.

Softbank’s shares rose 170 yen, or 3.6 percent, to 4,910 yen at the end of trading Tuesday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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