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Japan's NEC to sell mobile unit for 70-80 billion yen: sources

A man looks at NEC Corp's computer displayed at an electronics store in Tokyo October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
A man looks at NEC Corp's computer displayed at an electronics store in Tokyo October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's NEC Corp will sell its mobile services subsidiary NEC Mobiling Ltd for 70 to 80 billion yen ($742 million - $848 million), sources said on Tuesday, as the company sheds non-core assets after two years of losses.

Marubeni Corp's telecommunications unit and TD Mobile, a joint venture between Toyota Tsusho Corp and Denso Corp, are vying for the 51 percent stake and a buyer may be picked as early as next week, the industry and financial sources told Reuters.

NEC said it does not comment on speculative reports. The sources declined to be named due to the confidential nature of the deal.

NEC Mobiling runs a chain of mobile phone retail shops for NTT Docomo Inc. NEC Mobiling shares rose more than 14 percent to close at a record high, while NEC's stock ended 4 percent higher.

NEC Corp, which competes domestically with Fujitsu Ltd in IT and mobile handsets, plans to cut 10,000 jobs, mostly from its mobile phone unit which is struggling in the face of competition from Apple Inc's iPhones and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy smartphones.

NEC expects to log a full-year operating profit of 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in the fiscal year to March. ($1 = 94.3400 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Emi Emoto, Maki Shiraki and Mari Saito; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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