NEC Corp. said it would spend about 33.5 billion yen ($282 million) to gain full ownership of phone-making unit NEC Infrontia Corp. in its latest step to pool group resources and eliminate overlap. NEC, Japan’s third-largest electronics conglomerate which already owns 53.3 percent of NEC Infrontia, said on Thursday it would launch a tender offer for the remaining 58.9 million shares at 569 yen each, or an 18 percent premium from Thursday’s closing price.
The consolidation step comes after the Tokyo-based company earlier this year made two software subsidiaries, NEC Soft and NEC System Technologies, into wholly owned units. NEC will shift 200 of its engineers to NEC Infrontia to boost the number of employees developing Internet Protocol telephone systems at the unit to 1,000 by July 2006 in a bid to better compete with rivals such as Avaya Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.
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