NTT Docomo was tipped to be exploring a sale of its Italian mobile content company Buongiorno, retreating from a business considered core to the Japanese operator’s international strategy.
Financial Times (FT) reported the operator approached banks and advisers to sell the Italian unit, around six years after it acquired the business for $267 million.
Docomo will continue to have a relationship with Buongiorno, but is keen to change its ownership structure, added a source.
Failing international strategy
The Japan-based operator acquired Buongiorno in 2012 at a time when it was looking to boost its overseas activities, because it was over reliant on its home market.
Indeed, the deal made it a major player in a growing market for mobile-based content and it followed a similar acquisition of Net Mobile in Germany.
Buongiorno became a major mobile content platform after acquiring UK company iTouch before its sale to Docomo.
The company operates mobile gaming, payments and music streaming products.
FT stated Docomo’s international strategy centres on partnering with operators to provide a mobile platform for financial services and content distribution, with Buongiorno at the heart of the approach.
Sources cited by the newspaper did not provide concrete reasons behind the decision to sell the unit.
FT noted Docomo had also taken hits on stakes in major international operators including AT&T, KPN, 3 UK and Tata Teleservices over the past two decades.