Japanese electronics retailer Nojima has entered into talks to buy Fujitsu’s broadband ISP business Nifty for an estimated JPY25 billion (USD217 million), the Nikkei reports. If successful with its bid, the retailer will look to expand Nifty by utilising its nationwide chain of retail stores, including its mobile phone shops, to cross-sell internet security services for home electronics and other services. A final agreement on the transaction could come by the end of March. Whilst KDDI and Sony Network Communications have also submitted bids for Nifty’s ISP business, Nojima appears to be in the front seat, having offered ‘better terms’, the report says. The ISP had 1.34 million fibre-optic and other broadband subscribers as of March 2016, and generated net sales of JPY47 billion – out of a total JPY66.8 billion – for the fiscal year ended that month. Fujitsu made Nifty a wholly owned subsidiary in July 2016 and indicated that it wanted the unit to focus on corporate cloud computing services.
Nojima’s move for Nifty comes as the Japanese ISP market undergoes something of a paradigm shift, reflecting the rising importance of broadband mobile internet in an area previously dominated by fixed broadband alternatives. Last month, KDDI agreed a share transfer deal under which it acquired all of the shares of Japanese ISP BIGLOBE from Japan Industrial Partners IV Investment for a total consideration of around JPY80 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed around the end of January 2017, upon which KDDI intends to make BIGLOBE a wholly owned subsidiary. The ISP offers fixed broadband services in the country and by 30 September 2016 had over two million subscribers. At the same date, its BIGLOBE mobile service was also being used by approximately 400,000 customers.