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Pasco eyes acquisitions in overseas market

Japan: Pasco Corp., a Japan-based digital maps provider, is considering buying companies overseas because of the near-record high yen and surging demand in emerging markets caused by construction booms.

“We welcome the strong yen,” said, Youichi Sugimoto, President of Posco in an interview with Bloomberg. “As far as we can find attractive companies, we aggressively intend to buy them.”

Pasco, which generates and analyses maps created from satellites and planes, particularly intends to expand in South America and enter Africa and central Asia because of rising urbanisation, Sugimoto revealed. The company has also had a surge in domestic interest since Japan’s March earthquake as companies seek quicker and more-detail information about their operations.

Since the quake, Pasco has signed contracts or begun talks with around 200 Japanese carmakers, retailers, financial institutions and other companies about an application that lets users track employees and operations, Sugimoto informed. Prior to the temblor, it only had one or two clients.

According to Sugimoto, the domestic demand and overseas acquisitions may help Pasco boost annual sales to at least 58 billion yen (USD 747 million) in about four years. That is 26 percent higher than its 46 billion yen target for the current financial year. Pasco generated about 90 percent of sales in Japan last fiscal year.

To expand overseas, Pasco is looking to buy European and US companies with branches in Africa and South America, Sugimoto stated without elaboration. Last month, it bought a 70 percent stake in Keystone Aerial Surveys Inc., a US geospatial company which provides mapping data for Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine. Keystone’s 18 aerial survey aircraft bolstered Pasco’s fleet of 42.

Source: Bloomberg