UPDATE 3-NTT Data to buy Keane for $1.2 bln in US push-Nikkei

* NTT Data eyes Boston firm for U.S. blue chip clients-paper

* Deal comes as NTT Data looks to lift overseas sales

* At Y100 bln, would be NTT Data’s biggest-ever acquisition

* Japan buys of foreign firms up 20 pct in Jan-Sept -paper

* NTT Data shares rise 1.1 pct vs Nikkei’s 0.2 pct gain
(Adds analyst comment)

TOKYO, Oct 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Japanese IT services company NTT
Data Corp (9613.T: ) will buy U.S. firm Keane Inc for more
than 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) as it looks to make a push
into the world’s biggest IT market, the Nikkei business daily
said on Thursday.

NTT Data has been buying up IT firms around the globe in the
past five years or so, and the acquisition of Boston-based Keane
would mark its biggest deal and the latest example of a Japanese
company capitalising on the yen’s strength to snap up assets
overseas.

Shares of NTT Data, 54 percent-owned by Japan’s biggest phone
company NTT (9432.T: ), were up 1.1 percent, outperforming the
market.

The two companies are in the final stages of negotiations to
reach an agreement by the end of the month that will allow NTT
Data to access Keane’s blue-chip clients in the United States as
well as research and development bases in India and elsewhere,
the paper said.

NTT Data said in a statement it had not provided the
information cited in the report.

“NTT Data has been explicit about its plans to expand
globally through M&As, and if the report is true it would be a
positive move since it shows the company is acting out its
strategies,” Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley senior analyst Hideaki
Tanaka said.

“With the growth potential of Japan’s economy being limited,
Japanese companies have been expanding overseas and there has
been increasing demand from them for Japanese system integrators
to take care of their needs outside of the home country as well.”

NTT Data, which aims to lift its overseas sales to 300
billion yen by the business year starting in April 2012 from
roughly 70 billion yen in the year ended in March, plans to
purchase all outstanding shares of Keane, the Nikkei said.

A Citigroup Inc (C.N: ) investment unit currently owns
roughly half of Keane, while Keane’s employees own the
rest of the firm, the Nikkei said. Keane, a 45-year-old unlisted
firm, generated about $790 million in sales last year and has
12,000 employees, the paper said.

The yen’s rise to a 15-year high against the dollar (JPY=: )
has helped reignite a push by Japanese companies to acquire
assets abroad to secure growth outside their sluggish home
market.

The value of outbound acquisitions by Japanese companies has
exceeded $32.3 billion so far this year, according to Thomson
Reuters data. That is a big jump from $14.4 billion in the same
period last year and $19.4 billion for all of 2009.

NTT Data has made at least 17 acquisitions overseas since
2005, including seven just this year, a company spokesman said.
It bought New Jersey-based Intelligroup Inc earlier this year in
a $199 million deal. [ID:nSGE65D0J7]

NTT Data’s parent firm recently took over South Africa’s
Dimension Data (DDTJ.J: ).

Shares of NTT Data were up 1.1 percent at 249,700 yen after
gaining as much as 3.3 percent in early trade. The benchmark
Nikkei average (.N225: ) rose 0.2 percent.
($1=81.61 Yen)
(Reporting by Sachi Izumi and James Topham in TOKYO and Isheeta
Sanghi in BANGALORE; Editing by Joseph Radford and Chris
Gallagher)

UPDATE 3-NTT Data to buy Keane for $1.2 bln in US push-Nikkei