Hitachi seeks to invest millions

Hitachi Data Systems is looking for software and services companies in which to invest a $US2.7 billion 'war chest', says exe- cutive vice-president operations David Coombs.

Hitachi Data Systems is looking for software and services companies in which to invest a $US2.7 billion "war chest", says exe- cutive vice-president operations David Coombs.

Hitachi has always been a hardware, manufacturing based company but poor results last year forced it to look at how it can become more solution- and service-oriented, says Coombs.

"The company had a fair amount of cash put away over the years and so this fund has been put together for mergers and acquisitions to improve our position."

There is no reason why New Zealand companies could not work with Hitachi and any interested parties should contact the company, he says.

Already Australia and New Zealand are being used as a model for service standards, he says. Unable to sell the product volumes of other regions, Hitachi management in Australasia has developed a strong service culture "and so we're modelling that value proposition to export it to the rest of the world", he says.

To date only one investment has been made from the "war chest". Hitachi has taken a "single figure" equity position in a small US software developer, Consteller.

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