NTT agrees to buy Didata for £2.1bn

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The Independent Online

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) has agreed to buy the South African IT company Dimension Data for £2.1bn as it seeks growth in emerging markets to offset a stagnant economy at home.

The London-listed Dimension Data (Didata), which is a major reseller for networking equipment giant Cisco Systems, has seen growth in Asia and Africa as customers buy its expertise in bringing their IT and telecoms networks together. "I want Dimension Data to be the core for NTT's global strategy," said NTT's president, Satoshi Miura. "Dimension Data has a strong presence in emerging markets, especially in Africa, South America and the Middle East, where NTT has a smaller presence. Its brand power is stronger than NTT's overseas."

The £2.1bn offer, which at 120p a share represents an 18 per cent premium to Didata's closing price on Wednesday, is supported by Didata's board and investors holding 52 per cent of the stock. The South African billionaire Johann Rupert, chief executive of Swiss luxury group Richemont, and his family control 25.2 per cent of Didata, while fund-holder Allan Gray holds 25.8 per cent.

Didata shares closed up 20.2p at 121.8p yesterday.