(Bloomberg) — Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.’s 4.25 trillion yen ($40 billion) buyout of wireless unit NTT Docomo Inc. will make it easier for the recombined company to sell assets, generate enough cash to deliver dividends and repay debt incurred from financing the deal, Chief Executive Officer Jun Sawada said.
The merger will also help the Tokyo-based telecommunications giant keep up share buybacks and invest aggressively overseas, Sawada said in an interview. Greater cost savings as well as sales and securitization of real estate, data centers and other assets will deliver enough cash to revamp the business while rewarding shareholders and boosting its overseas portfolio, according to him.
“We want to make our existing assets more liquid and use that to invest in new businesses,” he said Tuesday.
The merger between the telecommunications behemoths effectively ends an experiment that started in 1998 when NTT sold Docomo shares in the biggest-ever initial public offering at the time. It gave investors a chance to bet on the fast-growing sector, while Docomo executives went on a buying spree overseas, using the influx of cash to extend Japan’s then-lead in mobile services to the rest of the world. Even though they blew billions of dollars on minority stakes in carriers that eventually failed to deliver on their promise, NTT will keep pushing to expand overseas, Sawada said.
“We want Docomo to invest abroad again,” Sawada said, adding that he wants Docomo to work closely with NTT Communications, the network and cloud division of NTT, on an overseas strategy. “But it depends on how it’s done,” he said.
NTT shares rose 3.3% on Wednesday, the most in almost two months and outpacing other telecommunications stocks in Tokyo.
Sawada has already made clear that he wants to