NTT Communications, a unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) , announced this evening that it will acquire Web-site manager Verio (VRIO) for $5.5 billion, or $60 a share.

On Friday, Verio shares closed at 35 15/16. NTT closed at 66 1/4.

In a release, NTT said that the deal will be closed by the third quarter of this year.

NTT announced that it would initiate a tender offer for Verio shares beginning by May 17. The company further said that the $5.5 billion price does not include the $500 million, the company has already invested in Colorado-based Verio. The $500 million gained NTT a 10% stake in Verio. The $5.5 billion buys the remaining 90%.

Verio is a provider of Internet services to the business market, offering telecommunications circuits, Web hosting, domain name registration, electronic commerce services and application hosting services. NTT provides telecommunications services in Japan, offering telephone services, telegraph services, leased circuit services, data communication facility services, ISDN services, equipment sale and other services.