Shares in Vodafone are on the up after the company beat back competition from BT and bought AT&T's 10 per cent stake in Japan Telecom for $1.35bn.
The deal gives Vodafone a huge 25 per cent of Japan Telecom's J-Phone mobile operator, and could push BT further out of the key Japanese market as it only owns 20 per cent of the Japanese telco.
The rivalry between BT and Vodafone kicked off late last year after Vodafone bought a 15 per cent stake in Japan Telecom for $2.19bn, clashing with BT's 20 per cent holding.
Vodafone's new purchase makes it Japan Telecom's biggest shareholder and casts doubt over whether BT will stay in the Japanese market, although it still claims that the region is key to the company's expansion plans for western Europe and Asia.
Chris Gent, chief executive at Vodafone, said that J-Phone would be used as a "powerful force" to carve out the company's space in an "increasingly competitive" Japanese market.
At the same time, the company also announced an interest in increasing its holding in China's leading mobile operator, China Mobile. The move would make Gent a non-executive director and allow the two companies to share development and resources.
Vodafone shares rose 3.5p to 192.25p following the news.
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