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Nojima poised to buy Fujitsu's Nifty broadband business

Electronics retailer sees potential for synergies with its store network

Nojima aims to expand Nifty's ISP business through its own nationwide store network.

TOKYO -- Japanese electronics store operator Nojima is in talks to purchase Fujitsu unit Nifty's internet service provider business in a deal estimated at around 25 billion yen ($217 million).

Nojima seems confident that it could expand the business through its own nationwide retail network, which includes mobile phone shops. It also apparently sees potential for cross-selling internet security services for home electronics and other services. A final agreement on the transaction could come by the end of March.

KDDI and Sony Network Communications had also bid on Nifty's ISP business, but Nojima appears to have offered better terms.

Japan's ISP industry is undergoing a realignment as the sector's old personal-computer-based business model collides with the new world of mobile internet. KDDI announced in December that it would acquire Biglobe, a provider with 2.4 million subscribers.

Nifty had 1.34 million fiber-optic and other broadband subscribers as of March 2016. Its ISP business provided 47 billion yen of the company's 66.8 billion yen in sales for the fiscal year ended that month.

Nojima also appears interested in acquiring Nifty's web services business, which generated 13.5 billion yen in sales that fiscal year.

Fujitsu made Nifty wholly owned last July and has indicated that it wants the unit to focus on corporate cloud computing services.


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